The Rockets evened up their Western Conference Semifinals series with the Warriors on Monday night in another very close finish that saw Golden State’s top two stars each miss game-tying three-point attempts on their final possession.
Steph Curry’s shooting woes continued as he’s now 12-for-46 (26%) from three-point range in the series, and while he and Kevin Durant combined for 64 points in Game 4, they simply weren’t able to hit enough from deep to match Houston’s onslaught from downtown. With the series tied at two games apiece, the conversation is suddenly about whether the Rockets can avenge last year’s mini-implosion on the conference finals to finally take down the Warriors.
While most will focus on what adjustments can be made by both sides going forwards, there are some, namely in New York, that are keeping a keen eye on this series (and Bucks-Celtics) for different reasons. Rumors about Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving teaming up in New York this summer have been floating around for months and will only pick up steam if both teams exit in the second round. On Monday in Houston one fan spent the entire game reminding Durant of those rumors, which he has tried to ignore all season to the point of frustration, by chanting “New York Knicks” at him every time he got the ball.
This was something that wasn’t just during this inbounds. The fan could be heard on the courtside mics throughout the game. Whether this was related to an apparent lengthy chat Durant had with fans under the basket isn’t known, but Rockets fans were clearly trying their best to mess with KD.
Durant was 12-of-22 from the field and had 34 points so it didn’t seem to bother him. As far as heckling goes, this is actually one of the better ones simply because it isn’t problematic and doesn’t try to insinuate Durant is bad (when he might be the best player in the world), but instead just preys on the one thing known to make him mad: free agency rumors.