War­riors Trounce Rock­ets In NBA Play­off Se­ries Opener

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NEW YORK (Dis­patches) - Sea­son wins leader Hous­ton bat­tled an en­tire cam­paign to seize a home-court edge through­out the NBA play­offs, but de­fend­ing cham­pion Golden State stole it away with a 119-106 vic­tory Mon­day.

Kevin Du­rant scored 37 points and Klay Thomp­son added 28 for the War­riors to cap­ture the best-of seven West­ern Con­fer­ence fi­nal opener in a rare se­ries start on the road for a team seek­ing its third NBA crown in four sea­sons.

“We’re just try­ing to win every game we play,” War­riors for­ward Dray­mond Green said. “It ends up be­ing ‘steal­ing home court’ but we don’t look at it that way. We won one game on the road. Let’s try to win two.”

Stephen Curry added 18 points, six re­bounds and eight as­sists while Green con­trib­uted nine re­bounds and nine as­sists for the War­riors.

“It’s a great start. We played well,” said Thomp­son, who scored 11 points in the fourth quar­ter. “We’re not go­ing to re­lax. We’re still not where we want to be. We still have a long way to go.” NBA scor­ing cham­pion James Harden net­ted 41 points to lead the Rock­ets, who host game two on Wed­nes­day.

“We’ve got to do a bet­ter job of tak­ing bet­ter shots, not turn­ing the ball over and get­ting back on D,” Harden said. “We’ve got to make them ro­tate and take tougher shots. “They do a re­ally good job if you take bad shots or turn the ball over. That’s what they thrive on. Those mis­takes can’t hap­pen.”

Du­rant scored 17 first-half points and sparked Golden State af­ter the Rock­ets played ag­gres­sively at the start, us­ing two big runs to jump ahead only to have the War­riors over­take them by the mid­dle of the sec­ond quar­ter.

“You know they are go­ing to come out with a lot of en­ergy,” Du­rant said. “We just tried to take their best punch and keep fight­ing.”

“To with­stand that run says a lot about our team,” Green said. “The fur­ther you get along in the play­offs, the more in­ten­sity you need to bring.” Rock­ets coach Mike D’An­toni knows that all too well.

“If we’re go­ing to knock these guys off we have to get a bet­ter men­tal fo­cus,” D’An­toni said. “We ran out of gas a lit­tle bit in dif­fer­ent spots and they didn’t.

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