Warriors, Rockets on course for West Finals

NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana) • The Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets both raced to lopsided wins on Sunday and can book their spots in the Western Conference Finals with victories on their home courts today.

Kevin Durant scored 38 points to power the reigning National Basketball Association (NBA) champions Warriors over the New Orleans Pelicans 118-92 and Chris Paul finished with 27 points as the Rockets defeated the Utah Jazz 100-87.

Golden State star guard Stephen Curry added 23 points as the Warriors seized a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven second-round series.

They are seeking a fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals and their third crown in four seasons. Curry said the key was getting the ball to their hottest player, Durant.

"Just find ways to get him in scoring positions," Curry said. "Sometimes, that's not really hard to do - just throw it to him.

"Just keep the game simple at that point because he's such a great scorer, you don't have to really overthink things."

In Utah, NBA veteran Paul, celebrating his 33rd birthday, also had 12 rebounds while James Harden scored 24 points to power the Rockets to a 3-1 series lead.

"There are different ways to win," said Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni.

"We got a lot of stuff we can go to. The plan was to get that, so we wouldn't be a one-dimensional team."

Donovan Mitchell scored 25 points and Joe Ingles finished with 15 for Utah.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 08, 2018, with the headline 'Warriors, Rockets on course for West Finals'. Print Edition | Subscribe