Warriors, Rockets on brink of West final
LOS ANGELES – Agence France-Presse
The Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets both raced to a pair of lopsided wins on May 6 and can book their spots in the Western Conference final with victories on their home courts on May 8.
Kevin Durant scored 38 points to power the reigning NBA champion Warriors over the New Orleans Pelicans 118-92 and Chris Paul finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds as the Rockets defeated the Utah Jazz 100-87.
Stephen Curry added 23 points as the Warriors seized a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven second-round series.
The Warriors are seeking a fourth consecutive trip to the NBA finals and their third crown in four seasons.
The host Pelicans, led by 26 points and 12 rebounds from Anthony Davis, never led while Golden State stretched the lead to as many as 26 points.
Durant added nine rebounds while Draymond Green had eight points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Warriors. Klay Thompson added 13 points and Quinn Cook added 12 off the bench.
In Utah, NBA veteran Paul, celebrating his 33rd birthday, also had 12 rebounds while James Harden scored 24 points to power the Rockets to a 3-1 series lead.
“It was an emotional, crazy game,” said Paul, who is in his first season with the Rockets.
Clint Capela tallied 12 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks in the win.
Paul powered the offense and when he combined with Harden they were impossible to defend against.
Donovan Mitchell scored 25 points and Joe Ingles finished with 15 for Utah.