Warriors have great 'vibe' despite 2-2 tie

Houston’s James Harden being foiled by Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 at the Toyota Centre on Monday. Harden scored 38 points in the 112-108 win which tied their Western Conference semi-final series at 2-2.
Houston’s James Harden being foiled by Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 at the Toyota Centre on Monday. Harden scored 38 points in the 112-108 win which tied their Western Conference semi-final series at 2-2.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

HOUSTON • After Monday's 112-108 Game 4 loss in the Western Conference semi-finals, this is the fifth time that Steve Kerr's Golden State Warriors are tied or trailed after four games of a National Basketball Association play-off series.

The good news is that they always prevailed in the end - most recently in the West Finals last year when they bounced back to beat the Houston Rockets 4-3 after tying 2-2 and going down 3-2.

It is no wonder Draymond Green confidently predicted that Golden State will eventually win their semi-final this year against the same opponents despite dropping a second straight game to tie the best-of-seven series 2-2.

"Our vibe is great because we know that if we just correct the effort thing, we are just fine," said the Warriors forward, who had 15 points in the defeat at the Toyota Centre in Houston.

"Everyone is feeling good. We know the answer to our problem and that is pretty exciting.

"That's my department to lead in. If I do, I have no doubt everyone else will follow - and we will win."

James Harden led all scorers with 38 points as his Houston side sputtered down the stretch but held on to clinch the crucial victory.

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  • The biggest margin of victory in the four games of the Golden State-Houston series.

The Rockets missed 16 of their final 20 shots from the floor and even had a drought of 2min 20sec in the fourth quarter.

"Everything tightened up in the fourth quarter. But luckily, we gave ourselves a cushion in the third quarter to sustain it, " said Harden, who had 10 rebounds but made just three of 11 attempts from the floor and missed all of his six three-point attempts in the final period.

"Our motto was to keep fighting. We've got to keep fighting on both ends of the floor, stay in attack mode and be aggressive."

Eric Gordon had 20 points for the Rockets and P.J. Tucker added 17 and 10 rebounds.

Kevin Durant paced the Warriors with 34 points, while Stephen Curry added 30 points.

"Nothing's really happened yet," Warriors coach Kerr said. "It's 2-2. Each team have won two home games, that's how the play-offs go. We've just got to be a little better."

The champions head home for Game 5 today with a lot of work to do in a series in which each game has been decided by six or fewer points.

It was a different story on Monday in the East, as Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 17 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter to propel the Bucks to a 113-101 victory over the Celtics in Boston and a commanding 3-1 series lead.

Milwaukee will try to punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals when they host Game 5 today.

"It's win or go home," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens, whose team were paced by Kyrie Irving's 23 points and 10 assists.

"It takes a lot of mental toughness. I'm looking forward to that challenge."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 08, 2019, with the headline 'Warriors have great 'vibe' despite 2-2 tie'. Print Edition | Subscribe