SportsPulse: The demise of the Warriors dynasty is on hold. USA TODAY Sports’ Josh Peter breaks down how even without Kevin Durant, they showed why they’re still the team to beat in the NBA playoffs.
HOUSTON — With Kevin Durant in Oakland nursing a leg injury and Steph Curry stinking it up here in the first half, the Houston Rockets had the Golden State Warriors right where they wanted them.
Well, maybe not.
Improbably, the Warriors beat Rockets 118-113 on Friday night at the Toyota Center and clinched the Western Conference semifinals 4-2.
Curry was scoreless in the first half but erupted after the break and finished with 33 points, including 23 in the fourth quarter, and was clutch during the frenetic finish. He shot 9-for-20 from the field overall and 4-of-11 from 3-point range but hit all 11 of his free throws attempts, including eight in the final 30 seconds to seal the win.
James Harden had a game-high 35 points for the Rockets, but once…