The Houston Rockets held on late to tie their best-of-seven series with the Golden State Warriors at 2-2 with a 95-92 win on Tuesday.
The loss ended the Warriors streak of 16-straight home wins in the playoffs - a record they set in Game 3. It also marked the first time the Warriors had lost a game in the Steve Kerr era when they outscored their opponent by 15-plus points in the third quarter. They were 51-0 during that span.
James Harden led the way with a game-high 30 points, four assists. Chris Paul added 27 points and P.J. Tucker had a game-high 16 rebounds.
Stephen Curry finished with 28 points and Kevin Durant had 27 points, 12 rebounds in the loss.
Here are three takeaways from a thrilling Game 4:
Timeout or lack thereof
With the benefit of hindsight, we can comfortably second guess Steve Kerr's decision to not call timeout with the game on the line and the Warriors in scramble mode.
Steph Curry still had a shot at the end with 0.5 seconds to tie the game and force overtime but had Kerr or one of the Warriors called a timeout earlier they would've had around 10-11 seconds to draw up a game-tying basket.
He didn't, now the Dubs head back to Houston tied at 2-2 - and they'll have to win at least one more game in the Rockets' building to advance to their fourth straight Finals.
This game was eerily similar to the first game of the NBA season. The Rockets went to Oakland had to sit through the championship ring presentation, withstand a Stephen Curry onslaught and hang around long enough to pull up a narrow victory.
Houston did all of that and they got some major help from the Warriors. When it mattered most Golden State couldn't make a shot going 3-for-18 in the fourth with four turnovers.
Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson all came up empty in closing time - they only have themselves to blame.
Mike D'Antoni called his team soft after the Game 3 blowout loss his team suffered on Sunday. His team responded with a gutsy effort in Game 4. The Warriors gave Houston multiple opportunities to quit but the Rockets took every Golden State uppercut, licked their wounds and went back to battle.
Houston started the game on the wrong end of a 12-0 run - they were down by as many as 12 - lost a lead when they were up by as many as 10 - withstood a vintage Curry three-point barrage and live to not only talk about it but barrage about it.
A great response from a team who has been anything but soft all year long.
Daryl Morey and the Rockets' front office repeatedly said they built their team to beat the Warriors. They are two wins away with homecourt advantage from completing that goal.
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