Basketball: Curry helps Warriors overcome slow start, Rockets for Game One victory

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors drives against James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets in the first half during Game One of the Western Conference Finals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 19, 2015 in Oakland, California.-
Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors drives against James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets in the first half during Game One of the Western Conference Finals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 19, 2015 in Oakland, California.-- PHOTO: AFP

OAKLAND (Reuters) - Stephen Curry won his personal duel with James Harden as the Golden State Warriors overcame an early deficit and survived a late scare to edge out the Houston Rockets 110-106 in Game One of the National Basketball Association's Western Conference Finals on Tuesday.

Curry poured in 34 points, six rebounds and five assists and added key buckets in the closing stages to give the top-seeded Warriors a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series in front of a raucous home crowd.

"It's entertaining basketball. We're both supposed to help our team win and impact the game," Curry said. "There's going to be stretches where (we both play well). He made some crazy plays."

The Golden State fans were nervous early, however, when their team fell 16 points behind in the second quarter but the Warriors responded with a 16-2 run to seize control by half-time.

Harden, who finished runner-up to Curry for the regular season MVP award, nearly delivered a triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, and caught fire in the second half to rally the Rockets.

Houston have already proven capable of comebacks in overcoming a 1-3 deficit to oust the Los Angeles Clippers in the last round and used a late 7-0 run to pull within 108-106 with 14 seconds remaining.

Curry, however, settled the nerves by making two free throws to seal things for Golden State, who got 18 points off the bench from Shaun Livingston.