But the inevitability of the Golden State Warriors took hold as Game 1 wore on, resulting in a 119-106 victory for the defending champions.
The Houston Rockets and their home fans were fired up to start the Western Conference Finals, and an early Draymond Green technical foul for shoving James Harden only turned up the Toyota Center crowd even more.
Durant was 14-27 from the floor for 37 points.
With 41 points, seven assists, and four rebounds, it is safe to say that Rockets guard James Harden absolutely brought his "A" game.
Klay Thompson hit six 3's, majority wide open, and finished with 28 points to help bust the game wide open.
Indeed, it's the Rockets who should be shouldering the most weight - of home court, of history, and of expectations. Curry has handled well at times - he had a good steal on Harden at one point - but the Rockets have gotten their buckets, too. Golden State and Houston are sure to provide the offensive fireworks, but as the saying goes, defense wins championships, so which squad will be able to lock down the other when it matters most?
Stay with KRON4 for updates and reaction. The Warriors will be waiting to strike in Game 1, but if the Rockets can win on Monday, it could give them a huge mental lift. Golden State also defended the sharpshooting Rockets well, holding them to just 2-for-8 from behind the line in the frame.
Golden State is now 25-3 in its last 28 playoff games and are showing no signs of slowing down with its versatile weapons. So I'm going to get scored on, they're going to get scored on.
Chris Paul was outshined by Curry once again.
The Warriors still led 87-80 after three thanks to a massive third quarter from Kevin Durant. Two Harden free throws followed by a brilliant assist to Clint Capela on a slam dunk would tie the game at 49 with 1:51 remaining in the half and the game would be tied heading into the locker room 56-56 with a lightning-fast paced 14 points in the final 90 seconds.
Who: Golden State Warriors vs. His minutes have increased each game he plays and he was 32 for 67 with 15 3s in the Pelicans series. Curry and Looney battled hard and had a few key stops, but Harden typically got the better of them.
As we stumble into middle age, we know just enough to know that we know very little.