(UPDATED) Behind another extraordinary third quarter from Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors erased a 15-point deficit and claimed Game 7 of the Western Conference finals with a 101-92 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday at Toyota Center in Houston.
Curry scored 14 of his 27 points in the third period as the Warriors secured their fourth consecutive berth in the NBA Finals.
“This is a situation we’ve never been in before … to win a Game 7 on the road, keep our composure for the whole series,” Curry said postgame on TNT.
The championship series begins on Thursday in Oakland, Calif., with the Cleveland Cavaliers representing the Eastern Conference.
The same two teams met in the previous three Finals, with Golden State winning the title in 2015 and 2017 and Cleveland emerging as the champ in 2016.
Golden State, after trailing by 11 points at the intermission, outscored the Rockets 33-15 in the third period. The Warriors posted a plus-68 scoring in the third quarters for the series.
The Rockets fashioned their halftime lead on effort, both defensively and on the glass, but when their offense collapsed in the third quarter, their verve dissipated.
Houston shot 24 percent (6 of 25) in the third and while missing all 14 of its 3-point attempts. Curry, meanwhile, finished 5 of 6 from the floor while draining 4 of 5 from beyond the arc as the Warriors shot their way to the lead.
The Rockets missed 27 consecutive 3-point attempts — an NBA playoff record — before P.J. Tucker drilled a corner trey with 6:28 left that cut the deficit to 10 points.
Houston went 7 of 44 from deep, 15.9 percent, while Golden State made 16 of 39 3-point attempts, 41 percent.
Kevin Durant totaled 34 points, five rebounds, and five assists for the Warriors, and Klay Thompson chipped in 19 points despite early foul trouble. Curry also produced nine boards, 10 assists and four steals.
James Harden posted 32 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals for the Rockets, who again were without guard Chris Paul (right hamstring strain).
Harden opened the game 4 of 5 from the floor but finished 12 of 29. Eric Gordon scored 23 points for Houston but shot 2 of 12 from 3-point range, slightly better than Harden’s 2 of 13.
While Clint Capela (20 points, nine rebounds) and Tucker (14 points, 12 rebounds) delivered on the interior, the Rockets were undone by their ineffective perimeter options.
Trevor Ariza finished 0 of 12, including 0 of 9 on 3-point tries, while Gerald Green made just 1 of 7 shots.
Harden, who gave the Rockets a 48-33 lead with a transition dunk at the 4:54 mark of the second quarter, fed Capela for an alley-oop layup for a 61-55 lead with 5:38 left in the third.
The Warriors followed with a 17-2 run that included five 3-pointers, four from Curry, whose finger-roll with 3:29 left in the period was the lone basket from inside the arc during the decisive run.
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