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SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick breaks down the Rockets’ big Game 2 victory that sends the Western Conference finals to Oracle Arena tied at one game apiece.
USA TODAY Sports

Steve Kerr has never been known to mince words when his own team plays poorly. He is not afraid to bluntly describe the Golden State Warriors when they don’t play well, and he was at it again after Game 2 of the Western Conference finals.

James Harden and the Houston Rockets bounced back from a lackluster series opener with a 127-105 rout Wednesday night to even the West finals at one game apiece.

Harden and Eric Gordon each had 27 points as Houston had five players score at least 16. P.J. Tucker scored a playoff career-high 22 points, Trevor Ariza added 19 and Chris Paul had 16 as the Rockets shot 51% from the field.

“Give them the credit. They came out and played a great game and got everybody
going,” Kerr said. “We got what we deserved. They kicked our butts. No other way to say it.”

Harden, who was announced as a finalist for the MVP award before the game, struggled shooting and finished 9-of-24 overall and 3-of-15 from three-point range. Gordon went 6-of-9 from deep and Tucker was 5-of-6 to help pick up the slack.

Houston also forced 15 turnovers and out-rebounded Golden State 47-36.

“We got outplayed the whole game. We got it handed to us,” Kerr said. “You can look at it any way you want … but it didn’t matter who we had out there tonight, we got beat.”

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Kevin Durant scored a game-high 38 points for the Warriors after 37 in the opener. He didn’t get much help though. Steph Curry scored 16 points on 7-of-19 shooting, including 1-of-8 from three-point range. Klay Thompson had just eight points on 3-of-11 shooting and 2-of-4 from long range. Curry and Thompson combined for 46 points in Game 1.

“When you get in the playoffs with teams that are very talented, and really great
teams, it often comes down to which one has the edge in terms of aggression and
desperation,” Kerr said. “They were desperate tonight and they played like it. We didn’t, and the results showed.”

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