The Houston Rockets tied up their Western Conference Finals series against the Golden State Warriors last night with a win in Game 4, and for the first time in a long time, the Warriors will have to earn their spot in the NBA Finals the hard way.
The Rockets defeated the Warriors 95-92 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland on Tuesday night as Golden State's defense couldn't slow down either James Harden or Chris Paul, who finished with 30 points and 27 respectively on the night.
The Warriors tried to respond with Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, who scored 28 points and 27 points respectively themselves, but in the dying seconds of the game, the reigning NBA Champions didn't show up and they paid the price for it.
After a near flawless 16-1 postseason record in 2016-17, Golden State is facing some real adversity one year later in the playoffs, as they have already lost four times. This is the first time they have truly been tested since Durant joined the squad.
Speaking to The Athletic's Tim Kawakami, Curry said that he isn't overwhelmed by the fact the Warriors are facing a bit of adversity due to the Western Conference Finals series is tied at 2-2 because it will keep the team sharp.
"They (Rockets) won 65 games this year for a reason. They're a good team. We're a great team. We understand it's going to be a dog fight and the difference between winning and losing is a little finer than it was last year ...
"Every year going into the playoffs, you know it's going to be a different type of journey. And it's hitting us right now. So it's a good feeling to keep us sharp. I think nothing's too overwhelming for us."
Curry may have scored 28 points, but he needed 26 shots to make it happen. Durant needed 24 shots to score 27 points. Arguably, the Warriors should be looking at themselves in order to get back in this series, as they should have performed better with the number of shots their two top stars had.
Game 5 between the Rockets and the Warriors takes place at the Toyota Center in Houston on Thursday night.
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