We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, nearly 1.5 million people used their mobile devices to visit our sites.
Already a subscriber?
Wow! You read a lot!
Reading enhances confidence, empathy, decision-making, and overall life satisfaction. Keep it up! Subscribe.
Already a subscriber?
Oops, you're out of free articles.
Until next month, you can always look over someone's shoulder at the coffee shop.
Already a subscriber?
We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, we posted 390 stories about the fire. And they were shared nearly 137,000 times.
Already a subscriber?
Supporting the community that supports us.
Obviously you value quality local journalism. Thank you.
Already a subscriber?
Oops, you're out of free articles.
We miss you already! (Subscriptions start at just 99 cents.)
Already a subscriber?

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.



Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.


HOUSTON - Admit it, Warriors fans, you lost faith in the first half of Game 7 against the Rockets.

In those two quarters the Dubs threw the ball all over greater Houston. They gave up second shots. And then third shots. Told to avoid early, silly fouls, they committed four in the first 55 seconds.

It couldn’t have been clearer that the Rockets, even without their injured emotional leader Chris Paul, were slowly squeezing the life out of the defending champs.

Down 11 at the half, Golden State went into the locker room looking disorganized, listless and frankly outclassed.

There’s no shame in admitting it, Dub Nation, you gave into despair.

And see, that’s the difference between novice basketball experts like us, and real professionals. In the locker room, Kerr was steady, resolute and confident. He diagrammed a few players, made a few suggestions and had no doubt his guys were going to rally, come back and win.

Just kidding.

“It was a disaster,” Kerr said. “We just lost our composure in the first half. The game plan went completely out the window. We were just hoping to hold our composure after coming completely unglued.”

But surely he must have had some thought during the halftime break. Didn’t he have some idea of what he could do?

“Well, I was thinking of resigning,” he said. “I thought, I don’t even recognize this team.”

Instead, the Warriors abruptly, and improbably, became, once again, the World’s Best Team. Steph Curry, who looked lost and out-classed with eight points in the first half, morphed into that surreal shooter who makes one “wow” 3-pointer after another.

And Kevin Durant, relegated to casting off one long, futile 3 after another in the first two periods, joined him.

Durant tied with score at 61-all with a 3. Curry gave the Warriors the first lead of the game with another with four minutes left in the quarter, and followed that with a step back 3 that sucked the air right out of Toyota Center.

The final score 101-92, sounds ho-hum. And the fact is, this game is likely to soon fade into the mists of history.

Because at this stage of the season we’re always on to the next game.

The turbo-hype is already beginning for the matchup America has demanded ever since the first game — nearly 100 opening tips ago — LeBron James and his Cavaliers cast of misfit toys in their annual NBA Finals matchup.

Here they come, the Cavs and the Dubs, for the fourth consecutive time. It will be epic. How do we know? Because it has been the past three times. And if anything James is more energized and committed than ever. Get ready for the flexing, the posing and the glower.

Because didn’t it always seem this was how it was going to turn out?

Well, maybe in the minds of network television executives. But take just a moment to take in the gloom from the Houston locker room.

This was a team designed and built to take down the Warriors. You can call James Harden annoying, with his collection of ticks and tricks to coax cheap fouls. But by God he’s a force out there.



(all kickoffs 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

Cardinal Newman at Fortuna

Analy vs. Santa Rosa

Rancho Cotate vs. Sacramento

Casa Grande at Windsor

Montgomery vs. Petaluma

Ukiah vs. Willits

Sonoma Valley at Cloverdale

Healdsburg vs. Drake

Piner at Rodriguez

Kelseyville at Stellar Prep, 7 p.m.


El Molino vs. St. Bernard, 2 p.m.

McKinleyville vs. St. Vincent, 2 p.m.

St. Helena at Arcata, 7 p.m.

And not even the most resolute Warriors fan can say the Rockets didn’t play with heart and grit.

When the horn sounded, and the sellout crowd stood with their arms folded and shaking their heads, even their coach Mike D’Antoni admitted they were shell-shocked.

“Just devastated,” he said afterwards. “We thought we had them. The guys thought we were so close. We’re proud of the work we did, but it still hurts.”

And what really gets you if you are a professional, playing in the Western Conference final, a win away from the bright lights of the Finals, is that when the pressure was turned up to 11, the Rockets found that the basket had shrunk.

After banging down six 3-pointers in the first half, they went one-for-21 in the second.

And the Warriors, after stumbling around in the first half, stepped up and knocked down the crushing big shots. After a six-for-21 3-point line before intermission, they hit 10 of 18 in the second. Just one big, gutsy, contested, soul-crushing 3 after another. That’s what a big time team with an eye on history does.

“Our talent took over,” Kerr said. “It was as simple as that.”

“They were 16-of-39 and we were 7-44,” D’Antoni said. “They make those runs and you have to make 3s to stay with them.”

They couldn’t.

A reporter told the Rockets’ coach that at one point the team missed 27 3-point shots in a row.

“And were you yelling, why don’t you drive it?’ D’Antoni said, laughing. “That’s where we missed CP (Paul). Golden State would make a little run and he’d make a 3 to keep us in it.”

Harden may have been as good a barometer of the ebbs and flows of the game as anyone. He worked his metronome dribble act for all it was worth in the first half, pounding the ball back and forth, back and forth until he got an opening to the hoop. He had 14 in the first quarter alone.

But Harden’s history is that he works so hard to get those one-on-one matchup shots, that he fades later in the game. Just like this. He finished with a hard-fought 32, but he clearly ran out of gas.

“Houston was out-performing us,” Kerr said. “But I knew Houston was getting tired. The way James plays, working those pick and rolls, it is tiring.”

And when the shots stopped falling and the Rockets’ energy level dipped, the Warriors — and let’s don’t forget Klay Thompson’s critical 3s — made the shots that turned the game.

There will be other games, other playoffs, but honestly, right now in the clear light of the morning, this could easily be called the Warriors’ finest hour. Down, flailing and on the road, they sucked it up, caught a team desperate to defeat them, and pulled away. There are some nice moments in sports, but this was inspirational.

“Obviously, Golden State has set the bar for the whole league,” D’Antoni said.

So it was left to Kerr to put it all in perspective. In the list of big wins and comebacks, where does this one rank.

“That,” he said, “is like asking which of your kids you like best. And for the record, it is (his daughter) Maddie.”

Oh sure. He can laugh now.

Contact C.W. Nevius at cw.nevius@pressdemocrat.com. Twitter: @cwnevius.

Show Comment