Golden State Warriors

#NBATogetherLive: League MVP Stephen Curry and runner-up James Harden duel in Game 2 of the 2015 Western Conference Finals

Harden_Curry duel

After a narrow 110-106 win for the Golden State Warriors in an entertaining back-and-forth Game 1 of the 2015 Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets, the stage was set for Game 2.

Would the visiting Rockets steal home-court advantage or would the Warriors extend their series lead?

The first half was a game of runs.

The Warriors started out red-hot and took a 36-28 lead after the first 12 minutes, led by 15 points (5-of-9 FG; 4-of-7 3PT) from the league MVP Stephen Curry. In the second quarter, the Rockets punched back by outscoring the hosts 27-19, led by 12 points (5-of-6 FG) from the MVP runner-up James Harden.

Despite the Warriors leading by 17 early in the second quarter, the game was tied with 55 points apiece at halftime.

In the second half, Harden and Curry continued to carry their teams. The Beard dropped 19 (6-of-11 FG) while Curry registered 16 in a second half that saw a majority of the game's seven lead changes. The back-and-forth duel kept the game close nearly all through the second half.

While the duo stole the show, it was a defensive stop for the Warriors on Harden, which involved their starting backcourt of Curry and Klay Thompson, which eventually sealed the deal.

At the final buzzer, Harden nearly finished with a triple-double with a game-high tally of 38 points (13-of-21 FG; 3-of-6 3PT; 9-of-10 FT), 10 rebounds, and nine assists but Curry's 33 points helped the Warriors win 99-98 and extend their series lead to 2-0.

Watch the full game below:

After this game, the Warriors won two of the next three games and booked the franchise's first NBA Finals appearance since 1975. In the Finals, they defeated LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games to clinch their fourth title in franchise history and the first in 40 years.

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