Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Golden State Warriors, known more for their offensive prowess, locked in on the defensive end on two separate occasions Tuesday night en route to a Game 1 win in the Western Conference Finals.
Stephen Curry scored 34 points with six rebounds and five assists as the Warriors defeated the resilient Houston Rockets, 110-106, to take the early lead in the best-of-seven series.
Shaun Livingston deposited 16 of his playoff career-high 18 in the first half and Draymond Green posted 13 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for Golden State, which is making its first appearance in the conference finals since 1976.
Klay Thompson struggled to 15 points on 6-of-18 shooting -- including 1-of-7 from beyond the arc.
The build up coming into this game was Curry, the league MVP, going against James Harden, who finished second in the voting.
It lived up to the hype as Harden contributed 28 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
Trevor Ariza had 20 points and Josh Smith chipped in 17 points and seven boards for the Rockets, who have lost six straight to the Warriors dating back to last season.
Dwight Howard, who played in just two of the four regular season games against Golden State, dealt with a knee injury throughout the evening and finished with seven points and 13 rebounds in just over 26 minutes of action.