Chris Paul and James Harden Lead Rockets to Victory at Oracle

Rockets stars James Harden and Chris Paul combined for 57 points in a hard-fought Game 4 victory over the Warriors on Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.

Ethan Hurlburt, Columnist

The exhilarating Warriors v. Rockets series has made its way to Oracle Arena for Game 4 that featured huge runs by both teams, including a 12-0 run by the Warriors to start the game, leading Houston to tighten up their defense. Houston dominated the fourth quarter, winning the final frame, 25-12, limiting Golden State to just 16.7 percent shooting.

With the 65-win Rockets’ team looking to advance to the finals, a loss for the Rockets would be catastrophic having to go home down 3-1 in the series. With Andre Iguodala out with a leg contusion, the Rockets saw the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the Warriors.

Midway through the second quarter, James Harden showed off his incredible offensive versatility, showing that he’s not just a 3-point shooter; he can attack the rack as well. Driving past Kevon Looney, he went straight to the basket with authority, slamming it down on Draymond Green who won the Defensive Player of the Year award last year.

Chris Paul, the point guard who went to Houston with hopes of winning future championships, rallied his team in the fourth quarter to save the Rockets’ season. He scored eight of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, shrugging off a painful right foot injury that has inhibited his mobility all series.

Surprisingly enough, both Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant scored 55 total points, it took them 50 field goal attempts to get there, too. The shot selection was very poor, leaving the Rockets to take advantage of fast breaks and multiple runs.

Both teams had looked exhausted in the final minutes, whether from fatigue or the weight of the game. Golden State played all four of their all-stars virtually the entire second half, while Houston’s P.J. Tucker, James Harden, Chris Paul and Trevor Ariza all broke 40 minutes.

In a series that has been defined by blowouts, this game had the kind of drama that NBA fans had been waiting for.  The Warriors were down three and had a chance to go into OT, .5 seconds on the clock, the ball is inbounded to Curry and he hit iron as time expired.  In the end, it was the Rockets, the team with the NBA’s best regular season record, that made just enough plays to close it out. The series returns to Houston for Game 5 on Thursday.