Officiating was the story of Game 1 between the Rockets and Warriors. Injuries to Harden and Curry could be the story of Game 2.
The Rockets and Warriors played a fantastic Game 1 but the enduring story was the no-calls in the final moments and the Rockets accusations that this was part of a larger pattern of ref-bias that cost them last year’s Western Conference Finals.
With this shadow looming over Game 2, both teams came out active and aggressive and that energy manifested in a couple of unfortunate injuries.
Early in the first quarter, Stephen Curry took a swipe at the ball in Clint Capela’s hand and appeared to dislocate his finger. He immediately headed back to the locker room.
Curry returned a few minutes later with the two fingers taped together and reports were that he had dislocated his left middle finger. X-rays were negative and so he was able to return but it remains to be seen if the injury affects his game at all.
A few minutes later, Draymond Green took a swipe at the ball in James Harden’s hands and appeared to catch him in the eye. Harden stayed on the floor in obvious pain as the Warriors went the other way and found Kevin Durant for an open 3-pointer. Once play was stopped Harden spent several minutes on the floor, surrounded by Rockets training staff, before being taken back to the locker room.
A later report indicated that Harden had been hit in both eyes and suffered a laceration to his left eyelid. He returned to the bench early in the second quarter and, after testing his vision for a few minutes on the sidelines, re-entered the game with 7:09 left in the first half and his team trailing by seven.