Despite the Warriors starting Game 7 with, as Steve Kerr called it, "one of the worst quarters of basketball we've ever played," Golden State got back to business in the second half and took down the Rockets with a 101-92 win on Monday night.
Kevin Durant scored a game-high 34 points on 11-of-21 shooting, but it was Stephen Curry leading the way in a huge third quarter that flipped the momentum of the game. The two-time MVP scored 14 points in that frame alone, finishing with 27 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.
James Harden (32 points, six assists, four steals) and Eric Gordon (23 points, six assists) got off to a fast start, but the backcourt duo seemed to hit a wall down the stretch. They certainly weren't alone - the Rockets shot 7-of-44 from 3-point range as a team, missing a playoff record 27 straight attempts from beyond the arc during a brutal cold spell in the second half.
The Warriors advance to play the Cavs for the fourth consecutive season in the NBA Finals. Another title would solidify Golden State as a legitimate dynasty, but LeBron James might have something to say about that.
Check out the best highlights from Game 7 of the Western Conference finals...
Game 7 box score | Play-by-play
Final: Warriors 101, Rockets 92
11:26 p.m. ET - And that's it. The Warriors are heading to the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive season. It's Cavs vs. Warriors again.
The Best in the West. 🏆- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 29, 2018
Golden State is headed back to the #NBAFinals for the fourth straight year! #NBAPlayoffs | #DubNation pic.twitter.com/0CpyklIg7L
11:15 p.m. ET - Another midrange jumper for Kevin Durant. He is feeling it with nine of Golden State's last 14 points. The Warriors are also going with the Hack-A-Capela strategy late to prevent the Rockets from making a comeback.
Warriors 97, Rockets 85 with 3:15 on the clock. But this one feels like it's pretty much done.
KD is a walking bucket. 💦#NBAPlayoffs | #DubNation pic.twitter.com/fE3MW4obsp- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 29, 2018
11:05 p.m. ET - This is just unfair. Good luck trying to guard Kevin Durant.
Warriors 89, Rockets 79 with 6:07 left.
Kevin Durant buries it from downtown! 😵- NBA (@NBA) May 29, 2018
26 for KD on @NBAonTNT #DubNation 89 | #Rockets 76 pic.twitter.com/ofPoQDjR2X
10:57 p.m. ET - The Rockets have no missed 25 - yes, 25 - 3-pointers in a row. The Warriors are ahead by 10 points with a little over eight minutes on the clock. Houston won't win this game if they can't make a couple outside shots. Just not gonna happen.
End of third quarter: Warriors 76, Rockets 69
10:47 p.m. ET - And there's the turn. The Warriors are just unstoppable in the third. Golden State wins the quarter with a 33-15 surge. Stephen Curry nearly outscored the Rockets by himself with 14 points in that stretch. Houston has just gone cold at the worst possible time.
Steph is ON FIRE! 🔥🔥🔥🔥- NBA (@NBA) May 29, 2018
14 PTS in the 3rd quarter!#DubNation pic.twitter.com/1AmWTZyHsi
10:37 p.m. ET - The Rockets have scored only seven points through the first seven minutes of the second half. Part of it is ugly offense, but the Warriors actually are competing on defense now.
That's going to be a NO from Draymond! 😬#NBAPlayoffs | #DubNation pic.twitter.com/A1qkWnhIZt- NBA TV (@NBATV) May 29, 2018
10:30 p.m. ET - And here come the Warriors. The Rockets' lead is down to five points after a couple of 3-pointers from Kevin Durant and Nick Young. It hasn't been pretty, but Golden State is right there.
KD drills his 3rd triple of the contest!@warriors cut the lead to 5 on @NBAonTNT #DubNation #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/f4gDJfwsec- NBA (@NBA) May 29, 2018
10:24 p.m. ET - Death, taxes and James Harden going left for the finish.
James Harden gets to his left hand to open up the 2nd half!#Rockets x #DubNation- NBA (@NBA) May 29, 2018
📺: @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/VxrDz4jQYl
Halftime: Rockets 54, Warriors 43
10:07 p.m. ET - What a half from Houston. Eric Gordon's (14 points) coast-to-coast finish at the buzzer gives the Rockets an 11-point lead. James Harden has 16 points and four assists, but he did slow down in the second quarter. He can't afford to settle for deep shots if the driving lanes are open. The Warriors... man. They shot poorly and didn't show a ton of effort defensively. That's simply unacceptable for regular season game, let alone a contest with a trip to the Finals on the line. Let's see if Golden State wakes up in the third.
🚨 Eric Gordon takes it all the way to beat the buzzer! 🚨#Rockets #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/NV1JedtI9U- NBA (@NBA) May 29, 2018
10:02 p.m. ET - James Harden finds Clint Capela again with a filthy behind-the-back dime.
Capela put KD on a POSTER! 😱🚨#NBAPlayoffs | #Rockets pic.twitter.com/o8tbmCLIuw- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 29, 2018
9:50 p.m. ET - That Harden-to-Capela lob... so pretty.
IT'S LIT IN @ToyotaCenter! 🚀 pic.twitter.com/JWhOYQvpPG- Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) May 29, 2018
9:43 p.m. ET - Eric Gordon is attacking the rim at every opportunity. The Rockets look like they really want this, and the Warriors just aren't matching that level of intensity right now.
Eric Gordon scoop and score!- NBA (@NBA) May 29, 2018
9 PTS for EG on @NBAonTNT #Rockets 34 | #DubNation 23 pic.twitter.com/6rD71ehyJn
End of first quarter: Rockets 24, Warriors 19
9:34 p.m. ET - The Rockets brought more energy in the opening period, but it's still a tight one after the first 12 minutes. James Harden already has 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting. The big story for the Warriors is Klay Thompson's foul trouble. When will Steve Kerr insert the sharpshooter back into the game?
TOUGH! 💪@JHarden13 with 13PTS pic.twitter.com/FEAbH2RCAz- Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) May 29, 2018
9:24 p.m. ET - Kevin Durant, the ultimate luxury.
No hesitation for KD 👌#NBAPlayoffs | #DubNation pic.twitter.com/esW3Nqsd0I- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 29, 2018
9:13 p.m. ET - Wow. Klay Thompson picks up his third foul contesting a James Harden 3-pointer, and Harden makes it anyway. Thompson must walk over to the bench. It's understandable that he was still on the floor, but that's the risk.
James Harden from deep... plus the foul! #Rockets 15 | #DubNation 9- NBA (@NBA) May 29, 2018
📺: @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/jyC98U9wcK
9:07 p.m. ET - James Harden and Eric Gordon each draw fouls on Klay Thompson in the opening minute of the game, but Thompson will stay on the floor with two. Steve Kerr isn't messing around with the season on the line.
9:00 p.m. ET - Here we go. Your starting lineups for Game 7...
Warriors: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney
Rockets: James Harden, Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, PJ Tucker, Clint Capela
8:45 p.m. ET - Game 7 could come down to how much James Harden has left in the tank. He must play like an MVP if the Rockets want to take down this Warriors team.
Fear The Beard 🔥 #Game7 tips off on TNT at 9pm ET! pic.twitter.com/DCfAbSrzZd- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 29, 2018
8:30 p.m. ET - Stephen Curry is coming off a 29-point effort in Game 6. How will he handle yet another elimination game?
Chef gettin' warm ✌️ pic.twitter.com/JROmzD4fnK- Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 29, 2018