Kevin Durant continues to deliver in the postseason for the Golden State Warriors.
He scored 37 points on Monday night to lead the Warriors to a 119-106 win in the long-awaited showdown with the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
But if it were up to him Jeremy Vujnovich Jersey , he would have done even more.
Durant wasn’t happy with coach Steve Kerr when he took him out in late in the third quarter and loudly asked his coach why he was putting him on the bench. Durant, who played just more than 40 minutes, was asked if he’d prefer to play the entire 48 minutes.
”Probably so,” Durant said.
Kerr acknowledged that he should have left him in at that point and raved about his performance after his fourth 30-point game this postseason.
”This is why anybody would want him on their team … I don’t know what you do to guard him,” Kerr said. ”He can get any shot he wants.”
Starting a playoff series on the road for the first time since 2014, the Warriors trailed by as many as 9 early, but had evened it up by halftime and used a big run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to pull away.
”We’re in the Western Conference finals they are going to come out with a lot of energy,” Durant said. ”We’re going to take that first punch and keep punching.”
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Houston.
Eric Gordon opened the final period with a 3-pointer to get the top-seeded Rockets within 4, but Thompson scored the first eight points of a 13-4 run to make it 100-87 with about eight minutes left.
Houston used a 9-3 spurt, where James Harden scored five, to cut the lead to 103-96 with less than five minutes to go. But Thompson struck again, hitting a wide open 3 to leave the Warriors ahead by 10 with four minutes left.
Harden scored 41 to lead the Rockets, who lost at home for the second time this postseason.
”You’re not going to come in and just knock them out,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said. ”There were too many times where we had mental lapses. We didn’t switch properly, turned the ball over and missed too many layups. We need to do a better job of staying up mentally.”
Now the Rockets are left to regroup after losing their leg up in the homecourt advantage they worked all season for.
”It’s nice to have home court,” D’Antoni said. ”(But) we don’t have it. Now we’ve got to go get it.”
Steph Curry added 18 for the Warriors Josh Gordon Jersey , who are in the conference finals for a franchise-record fourth straight time. It’s Houston’s first trip since 2015 when Golden State won the series in five games.
”I think he’s going to get even better as the series goes on, which is good for us,” Kerr said of Curry.
The Warriors, who are the second seed in the West, opened a playoff series away from Oracle Arena for the first time since 2014 when they lost to the Los Angeles Clippers 4-3 in the opening round.
Houston struggled to slow down Durant all night, and things got even worse when Trevor Ariza picked up his fifth foul with about 10 minutes left in the third with Golden State up by 3. Durant made two baskets for the Warriors around one by Chris Paul that left the Warriors up 73-68 a couple of minutes later.
”He’s one of the best scorers ever,” D’Antoni said of Durant. ”I thought he was extremely good. But we can withstand that. We can’t withstand turning the ball over and giving up so many wide open 3s.”
Gordon added a layup for Houston after that, but Golden State scored the next six points, with a 3-pointer from Thompson, to make it 79-70 with about 4 1/2 minutes left in the third.
Houston ended a scoring drought of more than two minutes with a dunk by Harden seconds later and the Warriors followed with another run, scoring six straight points to extend it to 85-72 with just more than two minutes left in the third.
The Rockets rediscovered their offense after that, scoring the next eight points, powered by 3s from Gordon and Gerald Green, to get within 85-80 with about a minute left in the quarter.
Durant added two free throws to close out the quarter and leave the Warriors up 87-80 entering the fourth.
”Houston, they never stop,” Durant said. ”They are always in the game with 3-point shots. We try to get good shots every time down and defend on the other end.”
Warriors: Curry extended his NBA playoff record by making at least one 3-pointer in his 80th straight playoff game. … Draymond Green received a technical early in the first quarter when he pushed Harden after a shot. … Curry missed his first free throw of the playoffs in the third quarter after making all 19 attempts in the first two rounds.
Rockets: Paul added 23 points and 11 rebounds. … Clint Capela had 12 points Dede Westbrook Jersey , six rebounds and two blocks. … Gordon added 15 points off the bench.
THEY SAID IT
Draymond Green on getting the technical so early: ”I was a bit overzealous, a bit amped up, but I’d rather that any day than coming out flat.”
After Game 2 the series moves to Oracle Arena for games 3 and 4 on Sunday and Tuesday.
Body camera video showing police using a stun gun on an NBA player over a parking violation is just the latest setback for efforts to improve relations between Milwaukee officers and the city’s black population.
The confrontation involving Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee Bucks also represents the first major challenge for new Police Chief Alfonso Morales, who took the job in February promising to restore public trust in a department besieged in recent years by excessive-force lawsuits.
”Milwaukee has all the ingredients to be a great city, but each time an incident like this occurs, we are reminded of how much work we still have to do,” the city’s Common Council said in a statement Thursday.
Morales, a lifelong Milwaukee resident born to Mexican immigrants, pledged to be more transparent with cases of police misconduct, and he’s already faced TV cameras twice this month to apologize for his officers’ actions. The other case involved four officers caught on video kicking and punching an African-American man while he was restrained on the ground.
The Jan. 26 video of Brown showed how a simple interaction quickly escalated after an officer approached him about parking in a handicap spot around 2 a.m. at a Walgreens drug store. When their conversation became tenser, the officer called more squad cars for help. As Brown is surrounded by four officers, he’s asked to take his hands out of his pockets and a scuffle ensues. Within seconds, one officer yelled ”Taser! Taser! Taser!”
The video became public after the department finished its internal investigation.
The officers were disciplined because they ”acted inappropriately,” Morales said. Brown was not charged with anything.
The chief did not name the officers or say how they were disciplined. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, citing unidentified sources, said three officers received suspensions ranging from two to 15 days.
”I am sorry this incident escalated to this level Dion Sims Jersey ,” said Morales, who left a news conference Wednesday without taking questions.
The police department did not identify the races of the officers, but most of them in the video appeared to be white. Brown is black.
A 2017 analysis by the Journal Sentinel found that black officers made up about 18 percent of the department, in a city that is roughly 39 percent black.
Morales’ predecessor, Edward Flynn, had a combative relationship with some city officials during his decade on the job. The Common Council became so frustrated with him that members passed a resolution asking the state to empower the council to fire him. On Thursday, a council member repeated that request, saying change in the department can only happen if the chief is accountable to city leaders instead of a civilian commission appointed by the mayor.
”We can have all sorts of community meetings and groups and say all these wonderful things. But ”at the end of the day, the police chief can do whatever he wants without any consequences,” Alderman Tony Zielinski said.
Morales’ spokeswoman said he was not available for an interview.
Brown has indicated he will file a lawsuit against the police. If he does, the complaint will add to a long list of litigation the city has faced over officer misconduct.
Last year, Milwaukee paid $2.3 million to settle a lawsuit over the death of Dontre Hamilton, a mentally ill black man fatally shot by a police officer after the officer roused him from a park bench downtown.
In 2016, the city paid $5 million to settle a lawsuit by 74 black residents who said police illegally strip-searched them between 2008 and 2012. The American Civil Liberties Union in Wisconsin also has a pending lawsuit alleging the department has for years targeted black and Latino residents by stopping and questioning them without cause.
”It’s just another black eye for the city of Milwaukee on a national level,” Alderman Khalif Rainey said.
A day before the Brown video was released, Morales posted a short video on YouTube that showed him walking through neighborhoods Cole Beasley Jersey , talking to residents and emphasizing his desire to restore trust in the department.
Rainey bashed the video, saying it’s not enough.
”First and foremost, it’s going to require something more than a video, a nice fluffy PR effort,” he said. ”So it’s really going to require the police to get out here in the community and really get integrated in neighborhoods and build a rapport with actual people on a first-name basis.”
Jonathan Safran, a Milwaukee attorney who worked on the Dontre Hamilton case and lawsuit over illegal strip searches, said he’s optimistic that settlement discussions in the ACLU lawsuit could lead to changes in how officers behave during traffic and pedestrian stops.
”The issue in my mind going forward, and this is a good example,” he said, referring to Brown’s case, ”is should officers act as warriors or should they should they act as guardians?”
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