In the first quarter of Game 2 against the Golden State Warriors, James Harden suffered a blow to his eye. After making contact with Draymond Green, which resulted in what USA Today is calling an “accidental poke,” Harden fell to the ground clutching his face and eye region.
It was so bad that Harden had to leave the court, but was able to return in the second quarter.
Even with the blow to his eye, he was able to pull out 29 points, but it would prove to not be enough to clinch the win. Houston succumbed to the Warriors with a 115 – 110 defeat.
The Rockets’ head coach Mike D’Antoni had this to say about the incident and Harden’s overall performance:
“He got raked pretty good in the eyes but he came back. I didn’t have a doubt that he wasn’t coming back unless it was something catastrophic. That’s him. He would have loved to play better, but given the circumstances, he played great.”
Harden explained what happened after the blow to his eye:
“I couldn’t see nothing. I barely could see. They put a couple of drops in to help it and numb it a little bit. All the lights were blurry.”
After the incident in the first quarter, as Harden was on his way off the floor, it was evident that Green and Kevin Durant tried to check on him. When asked about it, here’s what Harden said about the encounters:
“What do you want me to say? He asked me if I was alright. I said, ‘yeah.'”
Green was also asked about the incident, saying,
“I made a mistake and hit him in his eye.” It’s not about hurting anybody out here. So many times, people forget that when a guy has an injury, you live with that every day, every second of every day. It is not just about the game.”
After the Rockets landed in Houston, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, Harden was taken directly to the optometrist to get a specialist to look at his eye injury. They are “optimistic” that he will be able to play in Game 3 as well as have no further issues moving forward.
Raptors Blow Out Bucks to Even Eastern Conference Finals
While the Western Conference Finals did not live up to its billing, as the Trail Blazers were swept in four games, the Eastern Conference Finals has become as compelling of a series as we have had all postseason.
In the first two games of the series, the Milwaukee Bucks narrowly won Game 1 before they blew out the Toronto Raptors in Game 2. Then the series shifted to Toronto, where the Raptors have replicated that exact same formula to take both Game 3 and Game 4.
Tonight it was a blowout for the Raptors, as they played maybe their best team game of the playoffs to beat the Bucks by 18 points.
The Raptors needed their role players to step up, after Kawhi Leonard suffered a leg injury in Game 3 and was playing Game 4 hobbled.
Toronto ended up getting a great performance out of Kyle Lowry, as he recorded six assists, five rebounds and a team-high 25 points.
The Raptors will need all of their players to continue to making these contributions, as no team has won a game on the road in this series and two of the last three games will be played in Milwaukee if the series goes seven games.
Meanwhile as these two teams battle it out, the Golden State Warriors have already punched their ticket to the NBA Finals and are left to rest and wait to see who they will face.
Golden State Warriors Win Western Conference For Fifth-Straight Year
The Golden State Warriors reign over the Western Conference continues, as they are heading to the NBA Finals for the fifth-straight year.
While the Warriors were challenged by the Houston Rockets in the second round, the Portland Trail Blazers proved to be no match for Golden State in the Western Conference Finals.
Portland did carry a lead into the second half in each of their last three games, but they just could not find a way to close out a game.
Tonight the Warriors rallied from down 17 points to beat the Trail Blazers in overtime. Steph Curry once again led his team offensively, scoring a game-high 37 points.
With 11 assists and 13 rebounds, Curry put up a triple double in his outstanding closeout performance.
Curry was not the only Warrior to accomplish that feat though, as Draymond Green had a triple double of his own.
By advancing to their fifth-straight NBA Finals, the Warriors have truly cemented their legacy as one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history.
Since they took care of business in four games, the Warriors can now sit back and wait to see who they will be playing in the NBA Finals.
The Warriors can use the rest, as they hope to get both Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins to return from injury.
Whether they return to the lineup or not, the Warriors will prove to be a formidable opponent to whoever comes out of the Eastern Conference.
Bucks Completely Dismantle Raptors in Game 2
The Milwaukee Bucks are really starting to look like a champion, as they have been dominating everything in their path so far in the playoffs.
After a tightly contested Game 1 loss, the Raptors looked like no match for the Bucks tonight as they were losing by 25 points after the first half.
While the Raptors put up a better fight in the second half, they still were no match for Milwaukee as they cruised to the victory.
This win makes the Bucks 10-1 since the start of the playoffs. Considering the fact that Milwaukee also had the best record in the NBA this season, their playoff dominance should not come as such a surprise.
The Raptors will need to change up their game plan in Game 3 on Sunday, if they want any chance to get back in this series.
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