Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors

Despite James Harden's big night, Warriors take Game 1 in Houston

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Warriors vs. Rockets in Western Conference finals (NBA.com Illustration)

The Rockets might be the No. 1 seed, but the Warriors are still the defending champs. Golden State sent that message on Monday night in Houston.

Fueled by a 37-point outing from Kevin Durant, the Warriors took Game 1 against the Rockets by a final score of 119-106 to gain an early 1-0 advantage in the Western Conference finals. Klay Thompson posted 28 points in the victory, and Stephen Curry chipped in with 18 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

Golden State surged to a double-digit lead in the second half and never looked back despite a huge effort from James Harden (41 points, seven assists), who was taking over in isolation throughout the game. The Rockets just lost focus for a few stretches in the last two quarters, and that proved to be the difference.

If you missed any of the action from the Western Conference finals opener, check out the highlights below...

Game 1 box score | Play-by-play

Final: Warriors 119, Rockets 106

11:23 p.m. ET - James Harden poured in 41 points, but the Rockets just didn't have enough in the second half. The Warriors steal home-court advantage with an impressive Game 1 win.

11:15 p.m. ET - This could end up being the dagger. A Klay Thompson bomb puts Golden State up by double digits.

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Sure Not Now

Warriors 106, Rockets 96 with less than four minutes to play.

11:08 p.m. ET - Yeah... good luck stopping this.

10:57 p.m. ET - With James Harden and Kevin Durant off the floor, the Rockets and Warriors play even, which is not good for Houston. These Rockets defenders can't keep losing shooters in transition.

End of third quarter: Warriors 87, Rockets 80

10:50 p.m. ET - Another third-quarter surge gives the Warriors an advantage. Kevin Durant is simply unguardable at the moment with 30 points on 13-of-24 shooting. The Rockets did rattle off a short 8-0 sequence to keep the deficit manageable, but they'll need to get more stops down the stretch to keep home-court advantage.

10:36 p.m. ET - The Warriors are running away with the third (like they usually do). A Stephen Curry steal leads to an Andre Iguodala slam dunk, and the Rockets need a timeout.

10:30 p.m. ET - That Harden-to-Capela lob combination is just too pretty.

10:23 p.m. ET - That's five fouls on Trevor Ariza. He will be forced to sit for quite a while with 9:35 on the clock in the third period. That could be a huge factor with how easily Kevin Durant has been able to score.

Halftime: Rockets 56, Warriors 56

10:06 p.m. ET - That was an entertaining half of basketball.

James Harden (24 points) and Kevin Durant (17 points) have each taken turns dominating their individual matchups. The stars are making an impact, but it is worth watching the bench units in the second half. The Warriors surged to a lead with their reserves. Nick Young already has nine points on 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc.

Then again, it could just turn into a crazy one-on-one battle down the stretch.

9:51 p.m. ET - A little bit of foul trouble for both sides. Draymond Green and Trevor Ariza each have three personals and will sit the final five minutes of the half. No Ariza could be a big deal for Houston because Kevin Durant is cooking right now.

9:47 p.m. ET - A classic Warriors play. Gotta watch for those cuts, fellas.

9:41 p.m. ET - It appears James Harden is just fine. He returns to the floor at the eight-minute mark of the second quarter after taking a shot to the ribs near the end of the first.

End of first quarter: Rockets 30, Warriors 29

9:32 p.m. ET - What a wild first quarter. Kevin Durant (13 points) and James Harden (12 points) are both on fire. The Warriors and Rockets combined to shoot 10-of-24 from 3-point range in the first 12 minutes. This could be a fun one.

9:27 p.m. ET - Uh oh. James Harden is forced to leave the floor after going down with an apparent injury. It looked like he may have taken a shot to the midsection, but we will see how quickly he returns.

9:21 p.m. ET - There are quick releases, and then there is what Stephen Curry can do.

9:13 p.m. ET - Fear the Beard. James Harden is feeling it with nine points on 3-of-4 shooting. He is finding matchups he likes in isolation situations.

9:05 p.m. ET - James Harden scores six quick points to start the game, and Draymond Green just got hit with a technical foul less than two minutes into the first quarter. This is already intense.

8:59 p.m. ET - Well, what else would you expect from Nick Young?

8:45 p.m. ET - Houston's crowd is ready to roll. This is the series the Rockets have wanted all season long. Let's see if they're prepared to handle what the Warriors bring to the table.

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