Warriors vs Rockets live NBA

Live playoff updates: Warriors vs. Rockets, Game 2 on Wednesday

Join us for live news and analysis Wednesday starting at 6 p.m. as the Warriors look to seize a commanding lead in the Western Conference Finals when they take on the Rockets in Houston for Game 2.

The Rockets were summarily silenced by the Warriors in Game 1 on Monday and now Houston is facing a must-win situation in Game 2 following Golden State’s impressive 119-106 Game 1 win.

James Harden scored 41 points in Game 1 but need to do even more if the Rockets can avoid becoming the first team to win 65 or more games and trail a series 2-0 in NBA postseason history.

The Warriors had plenty of answers for the team with the NBA’s best regular season record in Game 1, beginning with Kevin Durant’s dominating 37-point performance. Klay Thompson (28 points, 6 3-pointers) and Stephen Curry (18 points, 8-of-15 shooting) chipped in offensively, as did Nick Young (3 3-pointers).

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Defensively, the Warriors were able to successfully handle the Rockets’ isolation and pick-and-roll game, even with Harden’s big night. The question is can Golden State duplicate that effort?

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The series will shift to Oakland on Sunday for Game 3, beginning at 5 p.m.

HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Rockets were the best team in the NBA in the regular season.

They played like it Wednesday night, using a balanced scoring attack to rout the Golden State Warriors 127-105 and even the Western Conference finals at one game apiece.

James Harden and Eric Gordon each scored 27 points on a night Houston had five players score 16 points or more.

“We can beat anybody, anywhere at any time playing the way we play,” coach Mike D’Antoni said.

The Rockets didn’t trail after the first quarter and led by double digits for most of the night. They head to Oakland, California for Game 3 on Sunday night feeling much better after rebounding from a deflating 119-106 loss in the series opener.

P.J. Tucker added a playoff career-high 22 and Trevor Ariza had 19 as both bounced back after struggling in Game 1. Tucker had just one point in that game and Ariza scored eight, but was limited on defense after collecting his fifth foul early in the third quarter.

They were more settled tonight and they hit timely shots,” Durant said. “The first quarter was still the most important part of the game. Eric Gordon hit two big 3s and that kind of settled them in. Those shots did it for them.”

Houston avoided losing consecutive games for the first time this postseason and the Warriors lost in the second game of a playoff series for the first time since the 2015 NBA Finals, snapping a 10-game winning streak in such games.

“We got outplayed the whole game … we got it handed to us,” Kerr said. “You can look at it any way you want … and parcel it out, but it didn’t matter who we had out there tonight we got beat.”

Houston led by as many as 19 in the first half and was up 64-50 at halftime. The Warriors cut it to 74-64 with five quick points from Durant, but the Rockets opened it back up to 89-72 when Gordon made an off-balance layup before crashing to the court while being fouled and made the free throw.

The Rockets were up by 16 to start the fourth quarter but Golden State got within 98-86 with about 10 minutes left. Curry had five points in that span, including his first 3 after missing his first six attempts of the night.

Curry finished with 16 points and Thompson was 3 for 11 for his eight points.

Cavaliers vs Celtics Live Stream

Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James out of answers in half-court offense

The Cleveland Cavaliers plan to get out in transition more in tonight’s game after the Boston Celtics have stymied their half-court offense in Game 1 and 2

Tyronn Lue said in practice on Friday that he wants the Cleveland Cavaliers to play faster in Game 3.

Usually if both teams are playing fast, this benefits the team that doesn’t have LeBron James. LeBron is one of the most dominant half-court offensive forces in the history of basketball.

However, the Celtics have found a way to win the half court game due to their excellent defense. They have slowed LeBron down in a few ways.
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Boston Celtics’ playoff run is proving that Brad Stevens doesn’t need a star PG

Boston’s success on defense has stemmed from having multiple players who can compete physically with LeBron. Marcus Morris has gotten the most attention, partially because of his comments leading up to the series.

Morris has been excellent on defense this series, but so have Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Al Horford. None of them can contain LeBron, but all have done a decent job keeping him on the perimeter.

The Celtics have turned this series, and every series they’ve played in, into a slow-it-down mismatch hunt on both ends. Other than the occasional Kevin Love post-up, LeBron has been the only one on Cleveland who can hunt and exploit these mismatches.

Love was hailed earlier in his career with the Cavs as a guy who can get a bucket or to the line when a smaller guy is on him. He has not been consistent in the post this series, and can’t move the likes of Brown and Smart they way he could C.J. Miles. He cannot create separation on the perimeter on Horford and Aron Baynes.
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Horford went stride for stride with a driving George Hill and blocked his layup in Game 2. Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood are not killing the Celtics, but rather their own team. J.R. Smith forgot how to shoot.

The Cavs offense has centered around getting one of Celtics’ plodding bigs or Terry Rozier onto LeBron. Instead of letting this happen, the Celtics have prevented LeBron from finding mismatches with ease.
Team Defense

Baynes cannot hang with LeBron on the perimeter. This is when Boston’s defensive cohesion comes into play.

Horford went stride for stride with a driving George Hill and blocked his layup in Game 2. Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood are not killing the Celtics, but rather their own team. J.R. Smith forgot how to shoot.

The Cavs offense has centered around getting one of Celtics’ plodding bigs or Terry Rozier onto LeBron. Instead of letting this happen, the Celtics have prevented LeBron from finding mismatches with ease.
Team Defense

Baynes cannot hang with LeBron on the perimeter. This is when Boston’s defensive cohesion comes into play.

This left Boston vulnerable to a LeBron off the dribble three, but the Celtics are willing to live with that. LeBron made them pay from deep in the first quarter of Game 2, but Boston was able to come back.

This strategy cannot work if Baynes has to account for Love popping out to the 3-point line after screening LeBron’s man, but Brad Stevens prioritized playing Horford at center when Love plays center.

The Cavs have tried to punish Baynes’ drop coverage by having Thompson set the screen at the elbow. They did this once, and it led to a successful LeBron James pull-up elbow jumper. This is another shot Boston is fine with LeBron taking.

When LeBron got a deep post catch, or a switch on Rozier and posts him up, the Celtics sent a weakside defender over to help on LeBron, and had two defenders guard three weakside shooters.

Smart made a snap decision to cover Love instead of switching onto Jeff Green. Horford recognized this and makde the snap decision to get into LeBron’s passing lane. Game over.

Despite Boston’s mechanically precise defense, the Cavs have found wrinkles to get an easy bucket every now and then.

When Baynes and Horford played together, the Cavs had Love screen James’ man forcing Horford to switch on LeBron. Thompson then screened LeBron, involving Horford and Baynes in a pick and roll.

Horford doesn’t have the same mobility to get back onto LeBron as Morris or Brown, but he also does not play much with Baynes. The Cavs can’t rely on torching this.

Cleveland has tried to counteract strong help defense on LeBron drives by dragging rim protection away from the hoop. On this play, LeBron was able to get to the rim after beating Morris, because the Cavs forced Brown to switch onto Thompson.

Cavaliers vs Celtics Live stream

BLOGTABLE: What to watch as Cavaliers-Celtics shifts to Cleveland

Steve Aschburner: I’ll be watching the Celtics to see how much stock we should put in their 1-4 road record this postseason, as well as the conventional playoff wisdom about role players and young guys faring better at home than

in road games. This is their series to lose now, and while they theoretically could just take care of business at TD Garden, the Celtics’ best shot at closing out “The King” is to stay in front of him and the Cavaliers. Cleveland’s role players probably will play better at Quicken Loans Arena (some of them can’t possibly play worse), and the longer this series goes, the closer it gets, the more vulnerable Boston comes to being beaten by an unfortunate mistake, a shaky call or a stint of superheroism by LeBron James.

Shaun Powell: I’ll be watching for any signs of surrender from LeBron James. Not necessary in terms of giving up in this series, but giving up on Cleveland. Because let’s face it, his decision this summer is more interesting than the Cavs’ chances of getting beyond the Celtics or winning another title this year. I don’t care about whether J.R. Smith shows up, or if Kevin Love can somehow outplay Al Horford or if Jaylen Brown and/or Jayson Tatum can take another leap in their development. Give me LeBron and a hint (body language, cryptic message, etc.) of what’s coming in July. That’s what we all live for, right?

John Schuhmann: If LeBron James can get to the basket. Through the first two playoff rounds, James was averaging a postseason-high 14.4 points per game in the restricted area. But he has totaled just 18 points in the restricted area through the first two games against Boston, with the Celtics doing a great job of getting back in transition and staying in front of him in the half court. Even when he scored 21 points in the first quarter of Game 2, five of his eight buckets came from outside the paint. The Celtics are happy if most of his offense is coming from 3-point range (where he’s shooting 29 percent in the playoffs) and on turnaround 18-footers out of the post. If the Cavs can find a way to get him to the basket more often (get him moving off the ball?), they’ll get the Boston defense scrambling and other things will open up. The Cleveland defense is never going to be good, but the offense that destroyed Toronto has scored less than a point per possession (and made just one corner three) through the first two games of the conference finals.

Sekou Smith: Body language on the Cavaliers. We already know the Celtics are connected in the ways needed for a team to scrap its way into The Finals. The Celtics might not show up to the arena in matching suits (as the Cavs do). But the core players have been through so much adversity the past two seasons they’ve been forced to band together to survive it all. The Cavaliers have looked like the disjointed bunch that they are in the first two games of this series. That magical word that NBA types always throw around — “trust” — I don’t know if the Cavaliers have it in each other or in their coach. That worries me and makes me wonder just what has gone on behind the scenes this season without former GM David Griffin around to perform his front-office magic. The way the Cavaliers perform in Games 3 and 4 will speak volumes about who and what they are these days.

New York Knicks NBA basketball team new head coach David Fizdale smiles during an introductory news conference, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in New York. The Knicks announced the hiring Monday after agreeing to terms with the former Memphis Grizzlies coach last week. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

NBA.com blogtable

Six NBA teams have hired new coaches so far this offseason. Did any of them nail it?

* * *

Steve Aschburner: I’m eager to see what J.B. Bickerstaff does now that he finally has his own parking space, proper office and a full offseason and preseason to ramp up as the Memphis Grizzlies’ coach. I suspect we’ll get a better feel for his coaching chops than two interim gigs have shown. To me, the roster in Milwaukee is too flawed for Mike Budenholzer to achieve instant respect. So, David Fizdale to New York is the one where I expect noticeable progress and improvement from Day 1. Fizdale not only has logged the time to bring proper experience to the Knicks position, he no doubt learned plenty — good and bad — from his Grizzlies’ run. There is urgency, there are resources, there are a few players to build around in New York. I think Fizdale is a swell fit.

Shaun Powell: The correct answer is: Who knows? All of these coach hirings sound and look good in May. And even in the case of the Knicks getting David Fizdale, whom I believe has much of the tools needed to deal with the modern-day player (Marc Gasol exempted), he doesn’t have much talent to work with — same with James Borrego in Charlotte — so again, who knows if the Knicks nailed it? Love to see what Igor Kokoskov does in Phoenix, especially with the No. 1 pick. Maybe the Suns nailed this one. He’s definitely the most intriguing hire until someone offers Becky Hammon.

John Schuhmann: At this point, all six look like good hires, but time will tell. With a few of these teams (Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns), it’s more critical for the organization to be patient than for the coach to make an immediate impact. The Detroit Pistons (yet to hire a coach), Toronto Raptors (yet to hire a coach) and Milwaukee Bucks are the teams with win-now rosters where we’ll really need to see an impact next season. Mike Budenholzer had a top-10 defense in three of his five seasons in Atlanta and his Hawks ranked higher in both ball and player movement than the Bucks, so there’s promise that he’ll add some creativity to that offense and do better with the Bucks’ length on the other end of the floor.

Sekou Smith: There have been several excellent hires, based on the profile of the coaches and the openings they filled. The Knicks knocked it out of the park with the David Fizdale hire. Right coach at the right time for a team that desperately needs a fresh set of eyes on their problems. Lloyd Pierce seems like an ideal fit with the Atlanta Hawks given his experience with “The Process” in Philadelphia as an assistant coach. The Hawks seem to be in the opening stages of their own rebuild of that nature. Former Hawks boss Mike Budenholzer is a nice get for the Milwaukee Bucks. There are few coaches in the league with the track record of improving the overall performance of his team without superstar additions to aid the process. I’ll take a wait-and-see position on the other openings that have already been filled. And I’m curious where the Toronto Raptors will turn now that they have moved on from Dwane Casey. Talk about a critical hire for a franchise at a crossroad moment. They can’t miss on this one.

Rockets vs Warriors Live Stream NBA Basketball

NBA Playoffs | Golden State Warriors run away from Houston Rockets in Game One

As impressive as Boston has been in performing without injured stars — and as superhuman as LeBron James continues to be — most NBA fans believe Houston is the biggest challenger in the way of Golden State repeating as champion this season.

After both the Warriors and Rockets breezed into the Western Conference finals, the series everyone had been waiting for finally began.

And it did nothing to change the perception this year’s championship is Golden State’s to lose.

The Warriors triumphed 119-106 to steal home court advantage.

Warriors superior in every facet’

Golden State sent a frightening game one message in the Western Conference Finals, winning comfortably despite a 41-point outing from Rockets star James Harden.

Harden was sensational — scoring 24 points in the first half — but was powerless to stop the Warriors machine in the second half.

Kevin Durant largely erased Harden’s output, scoring 37 points. “Kevin is the ultimate luxury,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “A play can break down and you just throw him the ball. He can get a bucket as well as anybody on Earth … I don’t know how you guard him.”

Klay Thompson added 28 and Steph Curry had 18 and eight assists.

Starting a playoff series on the road for the first time since 2014, the Warriors trailed by as many as nine early, but had evened it up by halftime and used a big run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to pull away.

“We’re in the Western Conference Finals they are going to come out with a lot of energy,” Durant said. “We’re going to take that first punch and keep punching.”

Draymond Green recovered from an early technical to finish with nine assists and nine rebounds and controlled the game with his defence.

Eric Gordon opened the final period with a three-pointer to get the top-seeded Rockets within four, but Thompson scored the first eight points of a 13-4 run to make it 100-87 with about eight minutes left.

Houston used a 9-3 spurt, where James Harden scored five, to cut the lead to 103-96 with less than five minutes to go. But Thompson struck again, hitting a wide open three to leave the Warriors ahead by 10 with four minutes left.

It’s the Rockets’ second defeat at home this postseason.

Houston struggled to slow down Durant all night, and things got even worse when Trevor Ariza picked up his fifth foul with about 10 minutes left in the third with Golden State up by three.

Durant made two baskets for the Warriors around one by Chris Paul that left the Warriors up 73-68 a couple of minutes later.

Gordon added a layup for Houston after that, but Golden State scored the next six points, with a three-pointer from Thompson, to make it 79-70 with about four minutes left in the third.

Houston ended a scoring drought of more than two minutes with a dunk by Harden seconds later and the Warriors followed with another run, scoring six straight points to extend it to 85-72 with just more than two minutes left in the third.

The Rockets rediscovered their offense after that, scoring the next eight points, powered by 3s from Gordon and Gerald Green, to get within 85-80 with about a minute left in the quarter.

Durant added two free throws to close out the quarter and leave the Warriors up 87-80 entering the fourth.

“Houston, they never stop,” Durant said. “They are always in the game with three-point shots. We try to get good shots every time down and defend on the other end.”

— with AP

Game one was just 67 seconds old when Draymond Green delivered the first moment of high drama.

After Rockets star James Harden followed an early three-pointer with a lay-up to make it 5-0 Houston, Green gathered the ball and stepped to the baseline to deliver the in-bound pass.

Harden didn’t move out of his way, so the Warriors forward shoved him hard and earned himself a technical.

LeBron James managed to overshadow the fact he played one of his worst games of this year’s playoffs in an embarrassing game one defeat against Boston with an incredible display of his memory in the post-game press conference yesterday.

Asked about a 7-0 run Boston used to kill off the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter, James recalled every play in sequence.

Warriors forward Draymond Green has an impressive memory of his own, once being recorded reciting all 34 players selected before him in the 2012 NBA Draft.

But he was impressed with what James did. “He should’ve gotten more than (an applause),” Green said after morning shootaround in preparation for Tuesday’s game against the Rockets. “He should’ve gotten a standing ovation.”

But Golden State coach said what James did wasn’t “that rare”. “Draymond would be the same way,” Kerr told reporters. “We’ll be watching tape from when we played Houston in December or something, and guys will go, ‘Yeah, I remember that this is what happened next.’ I don’t think it’s that rare. But the best players generally remember the most and have the sharpest memories.”

The Houston Rockets have revived Mike D’Antoni’s coaching career after the mentor followed a successful era in Phoenix with failed tenures in Los Angeles and New York.

A large part of his honeymoon in Houston is down to the exploits of MVP favourite James Harden.

Harden has become one of the best players in the league under D’Antoni, and according to the coach’s wife, it’s a true love affair.

“My husband is in looove with James Harden,” Laurel D’Antoni told the Bleacher Report. “I mean, I would like to have a little bit of that love that he’s giving James Harden in my household. But I understand why. Because Mike said he’s the best offensive player he’s ever, ever, ever coached.”

Celtics vs Cavaliers Live

How to watch the Celtics vs Cavs: live stream the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals live

The 2018 NBA Playoffs have reached the Conference Finals stage where four teams will go up against one another to see which two teams will proceed to the Finals starting at the end of the month.
NBA Eastern Conference Finals – when and where

The first game in a best of seven series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics will take place on Sunday May 13th at TD Garden in Boston. The game starts at 3:30pm ET (That’s at 12:30pm PT on the West Coast and at 8:30pm BST in the UK) and there will be six more games throughout the month if necessary to decide which team will move on to the 2018 NBA Finals.

This will be the second consecutive year that the Boston Celtics will go up against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The two teams will play a best of seven series to decide who will face off against the winner of the Western Conference Finals in the 2018 NBA Playoffs Finals. And if you want to live stream the Celtics vs the Cavs, you’ve come to the right place.

The Celtics are entering the series with a higher seed though the Cavaliers are being led by LeBron James who is hoping to take the team along for his eight straight trip to the NBA Finals. The first game of the series will take place on Sunday afternoon at TD Garden in Boston and the match is set to start at 3:30pm ET (8:30pm BST, 12:30pm PST). Will the LeBron James be able to lead the Cavaliers to victory or will the Celtics go to the Finals?

Whether you’re rooting for the Celtics or the Cavaliers will show you how to tune into all the action either on your TV or online. If there is no local option to watch the 2018 NBA Conference Finals in your country, don’t worry as we’ll walk you through the steps needed to watch the event from anywhere in the world.

Keep reading to see how you can stream the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals online.

How to watch the Celtics vs. the Cavaliers in the US

If you happen to live in the US and have a television, then you’re in luck as ABC will be showing the first game of the seven game series between the Celtics and the Cavaliers for free over-the-air. The network’s coverage starts at 3:30pm EST (12:30pm PST) on Sunday May 13.

After the first game though, you’ll need a cable subscription with ESPN to watch the rest of the games in the series on TV. However, if you want to stream the Eastern Conference Finals online without signing up for a cable package then you’re best bet is to use NBA League Pass with a VPN.

Unfortunately the Eastern Conference Final won’t be shown in the US until three hours after it’s finished due to an NBA blackout but if you use a VPN to change your IP address to one in another country you’ll be able to stream the game online. Keep reading and we’ll show you how.
How to watch the Celtics vs Cavs online

If there is no local option to watch the NBA Eastern Conference Finals in your country then your best bet to catch the Celtics vs. the Cavaliers is with a VPN. By using a VPN, you can change the IP address to one in a different country which does have a stream so that you can watch the NBA Conference Finals from anywhere in the world.

If you don’t have easy access to watch the 2018 NBA Conference Finals online in your country, the best way to watch it for free is to download and install a VPN. We’ve tested all of the major VPN services and we rate ExpressVPN as the absolute best. It’s compatible with all of your devices, supports most streaming services and ranks amongst the fastest. You can even install it on devices like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox and PlayStation. So for a one-stop shop, you can’t go wrong with Express – but there are more fantastic VPN options out there as well:

The best 3 VPNs for streaming sports online
1. ExpressVPN: the best all-round VPN for streaming, comes with 30-day trial
2. NordVPN: SmartPlay tech makes NordVPN a great choice for streaming
3. VyprVPN: blazing speeds make VyprVPN a great choice for 4K video

Read more: The best VPN services 2018

2. Connect to the appropriate server location
Simply open the VPN app, hit ‘choose location’ and select the appropriate location – it’s super easy to do. Choose any country (besides US states where the game is blacked out) to stream the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals on NBA.com.

With SlingTV’s $20-per-month Sling Orange package you get 30-plus channels, including ESPN and ESPN2 which will show 19 games throughout the first round and semifinals. You’ll also be able to watch the Eastern Conference Finals as ESPN holds the exclusive rights to those games. SlingTV will also give you access to TNT which will be broadcasting the NBA playoffs as well.

Sling TV is compatible with Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, Chromecast as well as lots of other devices and its easy to get started with a 7-day free trial.

DIRECTV NOW $50 per month

DirectTV Now offers many of the same channels as SlingTV and Playstation Vue including ABC, TNT, ESPN and ESPN2 but it’s Just Right package also includes ESPNews as well as access to 80 other channels. If you want a lot of content to choose from and don’t mind watching the games live as the service doesn’t include cloud DVR, then DIRECTV NOW’s 7-day trial will let you test out the platform.

Playstation Vue $44.99 per month

Playstation Vue is another option to watch the MLB playoffs and its basic Access package offers over 45 channels including ABC, TNT, ESPN and ESPN2. The service provides top-notch streaming quality as well as unlimited cloud DVR storage so you’ll never miss a game. A 5-day trial to Playstation Vue is also available to help you get started and most of the popular streaming devices like Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast are supported.

YouTube TV $40 per month

YouTube TV is a great option for NBA fans as it includes NBATV along with TNT, ABC and the three ESPN networks you need to follow all the playoff action. The service also comes with a 7-day free trial so you can test it out for yourself.

Warriors vs Rockets Live Stream NBA – Play-off

How to watch NBA Playoffs 2018: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics

The NBA Playoffs are down to the four remaining teams for this year’s conference finals. In the West, the defending champion Golden State Warriors will take on the Houston Rockets. And in the East, the Cleveland Cavaliers face off against the Boston Celtics.

The remainder of the playoffs will be broadcast on three networks — ESPN, ABC and TNT. You can live stream ESPN and ABC games on WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN mobile application. And you can watch TNT games on TNTDrama.com or the TNT mobile app.

Here’s the schedule of the remaining playoff matchups:

How to watch NBA Eastern Conference Finals:
Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Game 1 (Boston): Boston wins 108-83
Game 2 (Boston): Monday, May 15, 8:30 p.m. ET: ESPN
Game 3 (Cleveland): Saturday, May 19, 8:30 p.m. ET: ESPN
Game 4 (Cleveland): Monday, May 21, 8:30 p.m. ET: ESPN
Game 5 (Boston): Wednesday, May 23, 8:30 p.m. ET: ESPN (if necessary)
Game 6 (Cleveland): Friday, May 25, 8:30 p.m. ET: ESPN (if necessary)
Game 7 (Boston): Sunday, May 27, 8:30 p.m. ET: ESPN (if necessary)

LeBron James is looking to make his eighth straight NBA Finals off what’s been the most impressive postseason run in his 15-year career. In this year’s playoffs, James is averaging an impressive 34.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 9 assists per game.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens will likely through a mix of defenders at James in an attempt to slow him down, including Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Semi Ojeleye and Marcus Morris. Ahead of Game 1, Morris said he was likely the second best defender in the league to guard James.

“I’m a little older, a little more experienced. Personally, I think I’m probably the best guy defending him in the league, outside of Kawhi,” Morris said, according to ESPN.

How to watch NBA Western Conference Finals:
Houston Rockets vs. No. 2 Golden State Warriors
Game 1 (Houston): Monday, May 14, 9 p.m. ET: TNT
Game 2 (Houston): Wednesday May 16, 9 p.m. ET: TNT
Game 3 (Oakland): Sunday May 20, 8 p.m. ET: TNT
Game 4 (Oakland): Tuesday May 22, 9 p.m. ET: TNT
Game 5 (Houston): Thursday May 24, 9 p.m. ET: TNT (if necessary)
Game 6 (Oakland): Saturday May 26, 9 p.m. ET: TNT (if necessary)
Game 7 (Houston): Monday May 28, 9 p.m. ET: TNT (if necessary)

NBA Playoffs Odds
The Cavs are currently a 2-point favorite heading into Game 1 in Boston.

Meanwhile, the Rockets are a 2-point favorite heading into their matchup against the Warriors on Monday.

Predictions:
Behind the stellar play of point guard Terry Rozier, the Celtics have surprised everyone for being in this spot, and they are primed to give the Cavaliers the biggest challenge yet. The Cavs, who seem to have scrubbed off a shaky start to the postseason, look to fend off Celts — and compete in their fourth straight NBA Finals. LeBron James will lead the Cavs to his eighth straight finals appearance, 4-1 — Christopher Brito

In the most anticipated playoff matchup, the Rockets will host the Warriors in a battle set to be defined by each team’s offensive prowess. The Rockets retooled this offseason with the veteran Chris Paul and other defensive pieces to compete with the Warriors, who are looking to take home their second straight title and third in four years. The question remains: will the Rockets have enough, even with MVP favorite James Harden? Likely not. The Warriors advance, 4-2. — Christopher Brito

Rockets vs Warriors Live Stream NBA

2018 NBA Playoffs: Rockets-Warriors Western Conference Finals Schedule, Start Times And TV Info

After an eventful 2017 NBA offseason that featured a plethora of franchise-altering acquisitions around the league, many picked the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors to live up to expectations and meet up in the Western Conference Finals.

Indeed, both the Rockets and Warriors were plenty active during the free agency period. Golden State re-signed Kevin Durant and bolstered their bench while Houston added superstar talent in the form of Chris Paul to pair with fellow All-Star James Harden in the backcourt.

The two teams previously squared off in the 2015 Western Conference Finals when roles were reversed. That year, the Warriors held the No. 1 seed and made quick work of the No. 2 seeded Rockets, en route to their first of three consecutive NBA Finals appearances.

This time around, Houston enters the matchup as the top seed after a dominating regular season performance that has since translated to the playoffs. Thus far, they have taken care of business against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz in the first two rounds, posting a collective record of 8-2.

Likewise, Golden State has compiled an identical record with series victories over the shorthanded San Antonio Spurs and scrappy New Orleans Pelicans. That’s despite being without the services of Stephen Curry for the entire first round and opening game of the Semifinals.

Included below are the Western Conference Finals schedule, start times (all PT) and TV information.

No. 1 Houston Rockets vs. No. 2 Golden State Warriors

Game 1: Warriors at Rockets, Monday, May 14, 6:00 p.m. (TNT)
Game 2: Warriors at Rockets, Wednesday, May 16, 6:00 p.m. (TNT)
Game 3: Rockets at Warriors, Sunday, May 20, 5:00 p.m. (TNT)
Game 4: Rockets at Warriors, Tuesday, May 22, 6:00 p.m. (TNT)
Game 5*: Warriors at Rockets, Thursday, May 24, 6:00 p.m. (TNT)
Game 6*: Rockets at Warriors, Saturday, May 26, 6:00 p.m. (TNT)
Game 7*: Warriors at Rockets, Monday, May 28, 6:00 p.m. (TNT)

Cavaliers vs Celtics Live

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The Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, meet the Boston Celtics, in Game 1 of the NBA’s best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday, May 13, 2018 (5/13/18) at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Here’s what you need to know:

Who: Cavaliers vs. Celtics

What: Game 1, Eastern Conference Finals

When: Sunday, May 13, 2018

Where: TD Garden, Boston

Time: 3:30 p.m. Eastern

TV: ABC

Livestream: WatchESPN

Line: Cavaliers -1

Series odds: Cleveland is a big favorite to make the NBA Finals, according to the Las Vegas Superbook. The Cavaliers are minus-300, while the Celtics are plus-240.

LOTS OF CHANGES

Thomas and Irving are not a factor in the Eastern Conference Finals when the Cavs take the court Sunday in Boston for Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.

Boston has only four players left from the 2017 playoffs: Shaker Heights product Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, Al Horford and Jaylen Brown.

Celtics vs Cavaliers Live Stream

Cavs, Celtics ready for Eastern Conference finals rematch

CLEVELAND, OH – MAY 23: Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics passes the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 23, 2017 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

BOSTON (AP) — The jerseys and venues will be the same, but so much has changed since the last time Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics met in the Eastern Conference finals.

Kyrie Irving was dealt to Boston in a blockbuster offseason deal for Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder. But following a roster upheaval in February, the Cavs were left with only five players from last year’s team that rolled past the Celtics 4-1 to earn a place in the NBA Finals.

Irving will watch this year’s rematch from the sideline after a pair of knee surgeries late in the regular season denied him an opportunity to play this postseason. It was the capstone of an injury-plagued year in Boston that also saw the seasons of Gordon Hayward and rookie Daniel Theis truncated.

The one constant has been Cleveland’s LeBron James, who at age 33 has again found another gear in the playoffs despite the different pieces surrounding him. His 34.3 scoring average in these playoffs is his highest since the 2009 postseason.

James can become the sixth player in league history to play in at least eight consecutive NBA Finals. The five others who have done so all played with the Celtics, led by Hall of Famer Bill Russell’s run of 10 straight appearances.

James hasn’t yet had a chance to reflect on his own run but says he isn’t taking anything for granted at this point in his career.

“You dream about being able to play in big games in the NBA and even when I got to the NBA that was one of my only goals to be as great as I can be, to play in big games in the NBA and be remembered and I think I’ve done that in my career,” he said. “Just trying to add onto it while I can.”

The series starts Sunday (Monday, PHL time) in Boston. This is the eighth playoff matchup between the teams overall, with the Celtics leading 4-3.

The Celtics are seeking their first trip to the NBA Finals since 2010, when they got past James and the Cavs in the East semifinals.

Since Irving’s injury, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has relied heavily on veteran Al Horford and a youthful corps that includes 24-year-olds Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart, 21-year-old Jaylen Brown and 20-year-old rookie Jayson Tatum.

Horford is averaging career playoff-high 17 points per game, while carrying the leadership torch.

Rozier has flourished in a starting role since Irving was sidelined in mid-March. It’s carried over into the postseason where he is averaging 18.2 points per game. And Tatum is coming of a series against Philadelphia that saw him average 23.6 points per game — the second-highest by a Celtics rookie in franchise history.

“I feel like we more together [than last year],” Rozier said. “Obviously guys been going down all year and it’s like you never know who’s going to down. But we found a way, we pulled together.”

As for Rozier’s prediction for the series?

“Stay tuned,” he said.

Some other things of note in the Eastern Conference finals:

BUCKEYE ROOTS

Like James, Rozier first bounced a ball in Northeast Ohio.

Rozier is from Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb on Cleveland’s east side. He’s been on James’ hoops radar since he was a high school freshman. And while Rozier has been a breakout star in these playoffs to NBA fans, James knew he would eventually shine.

“He was a confident kid then when I watched him at Shaker. And he’s a confident player now, so I’m not surprised,” James said. “He’s gotten better and better. It was a steal when they drafted him out of Louisville, and he’s just showcasing his abilities. … So, everybody is going crazy over what he’s doing but I’m not. He’s a local guy.”

(TD) GARDEN PARTY

Boston has become a preferred spring destination for James.

After a 2-9 start to his playoff career in New England, James has won his six straight postseason games on the road against the Celtics, a streak that began with his epic 45-point, 15-rebound performance in Game 6 for Miami in the 2012 conference finals. In those six wins, James averaged 34.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists.

James has averaged 30.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.1 assists while going 8-9 on Boston parquet’s hardwood.

Since losing two straight series with Cleveland to Boston in 2008 and 2010, James has eliminated the Celtics four times, going 8-1 in the past two matchups.

CELTIC PRIDE

Indiana pushed Cleveland to seven games in the opening round. The Pacers were physical, resilient and confident.

The Cavs feel the young Celtics might be a greater challenge.

“Boston is better than Indiana,” Cavs forward Kyle Korver said. “With as much respect as we have for Indiana, obviously, they took us to seven, I think defensively Boston is elite. They’re really good. They’re always in the right spot. They have a great game plan.

“For sure the Indiana series has prepared us for the playoffs in a lot of ways. Now that we’re through that series, we’re glad.”

Rockets vs Jazz Live

Two of the NBA’s best teams over the last couple of months are set to meet in the Western Conference semifinals, as the top-seeded Houston Rockets take on the Utah Jazz.

All games in the series will be broadcast on either ABC, ESPN or TNT (full schedule). If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch all of the games live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:

Hulu With Live TV: In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including ABC (live in select markets), ESPN and TNT. You can sign up right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the games on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.

DirecTV Now: ABC (live in select markets), ESPN and TNT are included in all four of DirecTV Now’s channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can then watch the games live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.

WatchESPN: You can also watch games that are broadcast on ABC or ESPN on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the WatchESPN app. Games on ABC can be watched for free without cable if you have a participating internet service provider (ISP), while games on ESPN require you to sign in to a TV provider. If you don’t have a participating ISP for the ABC games, or don’t have cable for the ESPN games, you can use your Hulu or DirecTV Now credentials to sign in and watch.
Preview

Between January 19–the day Rudy Gobert returned from his 15-game absence stemming from a sprained PCL–and the conclusion of the regular season, the Utah Jazz went 30-8, earning them the league’s second-best winning percentage during that span. The only team better? The Houston Rockets, who were 34-5.

During that stretch to close the season, the Jazz ranked 12th in offensive rating (108.4 points per 100 possessions), first–by far–in defensive rating (97.5) and first in net rating (plus-10.8), while the Rockets ranked second in offense (111.7), third in defense (102.3) and third in net (9.4).

So, this may only be the second round of the playoffs. It may be a No. 1 vs. No. 5 seed. But you can make a strong argument that over the last three months, these have been two of the best five teams in the NBA, making this a highly compelling matchup.

Houston swept the four regular-season meetings with each win coming by double-digits, though just one of those came after Christmas–a 96-85 win in Salt Lake City on February 26. Though the Jazz struggled to score, they managed to limit the Rockets to just 43.0 percent shooting from the field and 27.3 shooting from deep. The Rockets’ 96 points was their fifth lowest output of the season, while their nine three-pointers made was tied for their second lowest mark.

Therein lies what will be one of the most fascinating matchups of these playoffs: Houston’s offense is arguably the best in the NBA (though the Warriors at full strength have a good argument there), while Utah’s defense can make a similar case as the league’s most efficient unit on that end. It’s a battle of elite strengths, and it’s going to play a major factor in determining this series.

For as dominant as Houston has been all year, especially when Chris Paul and James Harden have both been healthy, it would ultimately be surprising not to see them advance to the West finals. But Utah’s defensive makeup serves as a really intriguing potential kryptonite to the Rockets’ ultra-efficient offense, and the Jazz should–at the very least–be able to push to six games.