The Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets met on Saturday night in their NBA season series tiebreaker after they both won one game apiece. The Rockets came out on top on the night and won 116-108 meaning that they were not only the series winners, but they would be granted home advantage if they were both drawn against each other in the post season. While many people would expect this to strike at least a small amount of fear into the Warriors, Kevin Durant insisted that this was far from the case.
"No," was the answer from the Warriors small forward when asked if the result had any relevancy, ""The season starts over when you're in the playoffs anyway, so it doesn't matter. You're going to have to get through these teams to get to where you want to go. You have to play at home and on the road, so it really doesn't matter.
Durant wasn't the only player to be dismissing the view that the loss was catastrophic as the whole team shared the opinion after the game in the locker room. However, the Warriors performance in the final quarter left a lot to be desired for as they failed to register a single point in the final three minutes of the game. This was highlighted by Klay Thompson's air ball with two and half minutes left on the clock, a shot selection which angered Draymond Green.
"I thought we could have got a better shot then," is what the 27-year-old had to say about the incident but it didn't match his reaction at the time. Shaun Livingstone had to intervene and stand in front of Green when he was venting this frustration as it had the potential to turn nasty on the touchline.
Warriors talisman, Steph Curry wasn't immune from the criticism after Saturday's game and like the humble professional he is, he admitted that his efforts in the fourth quarter weren't up to his usual game-changing best, especially with a poor pass choice that should have found Durant inside the key.
"And the same thing the play before that," the 2016 MVP said, "KD was coming off a pick-and-roll, and he was butt-naked-open at the top of the key. I made a read too soon. It was kind of just one of those nights where I personally didn't have the right vision on the floor."
Curry is known for his honest evaluations of his own performances and it is rare that he his game has any faults. He will be vital to the Warriors push to become champions this year and they are one of the strong favourites, certainly worth betting on. To find NBA betting offers for new and existing customers, visit Onlinesportbetting.ca. You can find the latest betting offers here like bet £5 and get £20 by Coral or up to £30 free bet by Betway.
The all-round performance of the Warriors wasn't up to its usual standards on Saturday with them allowing the Rockets to turn the ball over 19 times, leading to 23 conceded points. They are still top of the Western Conference but thanks to that loss, the Rockets have closed the gap even more. The conference-leaders still boast the best record in the NBA this year with 37-10 with Saturday night's winners closely following them with 32-12.
The Warriors now must look ahead to hosting the New York Knicks on Wednesday at the Oracle Arena and it's definitely a game they should be winning with the Knicks being placed 10th in the Eastern Conference. The 2017 NBA champions are on a six-game winning run against the Knicks and will be expecting to make that seven in midweek. The Warriors had a historic run ended against the Rockets as they had gone 14 games unbeaten on the road, the third longest of its kind in NBA history. Despite the loss, they have bounced back from a loss at the first time of asking on every occasion this season with 9-0 in the games immediately after losing. They will be expected to extend that to 10-0 against the Knicks.