Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 23rd 2015 Contents A50
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, May 23, 2015
OAKLAND---Houston s James
Harden lost control of the ball as
time expired, allowing Golden
State to hang on for a 99-98 win
against the Rockets on Thursday
and take a 2-0 lead in an NBA
Western Conference finals series
that is developing into a show-
down between Harden and
Curry had 33 points for the War-
riors, who now have a strong grip
on this series and sights set on the
NBA Finals. Curry won the league
MVP this year and Harden was the
"Sometimes I want to crack open
a beer and get a courtside seat.
These two guys are the two best
basketball players in the world,"
Warriors centre Andrew Bogut said.
Harden rallied the Rockets from
17 points down in the second quar-
ter and had a chance to finish off
the comeback in the fourth. Instead,
Klay Thompson and Curry trapped
Harden, who lost the ball as time
Harden fell to the floor and put
his hands over his head as the War-
riors celebrated on the court, the
sellout crowd roared, and confetti
fell from the rafters.
"Kicking chairs," Harden said.
"It s frustrating. It s frustrating to
give the game away like that."
Harden had 38 points, ten
rebounds and nine assists, and
Dwight Howard overcame a
sprained left knee that slowed him
down to finish with 19 points and
17 rebounds for a Rockets team
headed home in a major hole.
Game 3 is Saturday in Houston,
which is facing a two-game deficit
again. The Rockets overcame a 3-
1 hole in the second round against
the Los Angeles Clippers.
"We re not going to go any-
where," Rockets coach Kevin
McHale said. "We re just going to
keep standing here and swinging."
Curry made five 3-pointers to
go with six assists and three
rebounds. He got a big boost from
his teammates---notably Bogut,
Draymond Green and Thompson---
to regroup after the Warriors lost
the big lead in the first half.
Curry connected on a 3-pointer,
then found Bogut under the rim
for a layup that sent the seven-
foot Australian flexing his muscles
and shouting to the crowd. Bogut
missed the ensuing free throw, but
the Warriors led 96-89 with 2:25
Harden brought Houston back
and the Rockets also forced the
Warriors into an 8-second, back-
court violation before Harden
found Howard for an alley-oop
that sliced Golden State s lead to
99-98 with 33 seconds remain-
After a timeout, Harrison Barnes
missed a difficult reverse layup
contested by Howard as the shot
clock nearly expired. Harden got
the ball down the court, and
McHale elected not to call timeout
because his team had the Warriors
scrambling and outmanned.
"I will take our best player head-
ing downhill on a broken court any
day of the week. That s where he
feasts," McHale said.
Harden was defended by
Thompson and Curry came over
near the 3-point line, where Hard-
en lost the ball. Time expired amid
"You knew he probably wasn t
going to pass," Curry said. "At that
point, it s just don t let him get a
shot off and try to be the hero."
The Warriors bench ran onto the
court in celebration. Harden lay
on the floor until teammates helped
The play ended a fast-paced,
back-and-forth contest---one that
saw the Rockets rally the same way
the Warriors did in Game 1, when
they came back from a 16-point
deficit in the second quarter.
"A little too drama-filled for us,"
Curry said. (AP)
...to take 2-0 lead
VIRGINIA WATER---After winning
two titles in three weeks, Rory McIl-
roy ran out of steam. Now he ll have
the whole weekend to get some rest.
McIlroy missed the cut at the BMW
PGA Championship at Wentworth yes-
terday after an erratic 6-over 78 at the
European Tour s flagship event.
A week after winning the Wells Fargo
Championship by seven shots, the top-
ranked Northern Irishman made six
bogeys and a double bogey on the par-
four 11th, leaving him at 5-over 149
and four strokes outside the cutline.
He was 15 shots behind leader
Francesco Molinari, who shot a 69.
Playing his fourth straight event---
he also won the Match Play Champi-
onship three weeks ago in San Fran-
cisco ---McIlroy s round was littered
with wayward tee shots and feeble
putting, which he put down to fatigue.
"I was trying to muster some birdies
on the back nine but could not get
anything going," McIlroy said. "Coming
off the back of three good weeks in
the United States, I am in need of a
rest. I ll dust myself off for next week
(at the Irish Open) and not read too
much into it."
McIlroy stuttered on the front nine,
going out in 36 with two bogeys and
a birdie before his round unraveled
at the turn.
He bogeyed the tenth and on the
11th, hooked a wild shot off the tee
into trees on the left for an unplayable
lie, before sending his next attempt
into the crowd.
He ran up a six that left him four
over and slid further down the leader-
board with bogeys on 13, 16 and 18,
where he ended his day with a three-
putt from 20 feet.
"I can take a couple of days at the
weekend to refresh mentally," McIlroy
said. "It was inevitable that a good
run was going to come to an end but
I would love to be here for the week-
Molinari started with two bogeys
on his first three holes but recovered
with five birdies, including three on
the back nine, to take a one-shot lead
into the third day.
"The start was very difficult, it was
not as good as Thursday," Molinari
said. "But I managed to steady the
ship. I made a couple of birdies to get
even par before the turn and with this
wind on the back, you can get a few
birdie chances and I took three of
Byeong Hun An shot a flawless 64
to move into second.
The South Korean made a blistering
start with five birdies on the front
nine, before moving a shot behind
Molinari with three more on the way
McIlroy misses cut at
BMW PGA Championship
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