James Harden: Rockets star makes ‘aggressive’ Steph Curry claim after Warriors loss

Warriors-Rockets Betting Preview: Fade Golden State in a Potential Western Conference Finals Preview?

But after Harden made the first of two free throws to get the Rockets to 106-104 with 6.4 seconds left, he missed the second, and Houston could not corral the rebound.

The Warriors survived Chris Paul and the Rockets' late outburst for a 106-104 escape on the road in the National Basketball Association on Wednesday, March 13 (Thursday, March 14, Manila time).

DeMarcus Cousins stepped up in Durant's absence, scoring 27 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out seven assists.

Cousins clearly wasn't a focal point of the Rockets' defensive game plan even with Kevin Durant out because of a sprained right ankle.

"I think we all do, but at the end of the day it's a win or it's a loss", he said. "Tonight was definitely a good learning lesson for us, and we will definitely learn from it". "I try to keep moving and being a force".

But the version of Cousins that showed up to the Toyota Center on Wednesday is capable of altering the dynamic of a playoff series, particularly against the undersized Rockets.

James Harden scored a team-high 29 points for Houston on 10-for-23 shooting from the field and 2-for-12 from 3-point range.

"We didn't learn nothing that we didn't already know", guard Chris Paul said after the Rockets' nine-game winning streak was snapped and any realistic hope of catching the Warriors for the West's top seed was extinguished.

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Paul sank two free throws with 47 seconds remaining to pull Houston within 104-100, then completed a three-point play after being fouled by Andre Iguodala to pull the Rockets within 104-103 with 10 seconds remaining. "The goal is to match up with them, whether it is second round or conference finals, whatever it may be".

"We wanted to score, it should have been that way the entire game. This was a good night".

When Cousins settled for a one-year deal with Golden State, a lot of folks figured he could be a solution to the Rockets' switch-intensive defensive scheme that often baited the Warriors into relying on isolation instead of their typically lovely ball movement.

"My job is to bring the energy every night". Cousins recorded six assists in the first half.

Paul finished with 24 points and was instrumental in engineering the rally down the stretch of the second quarter.

Miami improved to 32-35, tightening the Heat's grip on the eighth and last Eastern Conference playoff berth to two games over Orlando and Charlotte with Washington 3.5 adrift. He has averaged 22 points over the last five games and has made five 3-pointers in each of the last three.

Atlanta's John Collins scored 27 points to lead the Hawks over visiting Memphis 132-111 while Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points to lead Utah's 114-97 victory at Phoenix.

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