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ESPN’s Zach Lowe credits Rockets for not backing down from Kevin Durant-era Warriors

Rockets, Warriors, Kevin Durant

The Houston Rockets were the subject of immense criticism following their six-game loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals.

After the Warriors won the series’ first two games, the Rockets defended their home court and took the next two in Houston to even the series at two games apiece. In Game 5, the Rockets clawed back from a 20-point deficit and seemed poise to take control of the contest when Kevin Durant exited with a mild calf strain at the end of the third quarter.

But Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson kicked things into high gear, handing the Warriors a critical victory before Curry dropped 33 second-half points in Game 6 to close out the Rockets.

While Houston has faced scrutiny and questions surrounding the future of the organization, ESPN NBA writer Zach Lowe defended the Rockets for being one of the only teams to pose a legitimate threat to the Kevin Durant-era Warriors.

In the latest episode of his “Lowe Post” podcast, Lowe contended that Houston has been the lone threat to Golden State, saying (transcribed via Reddit):

“In defense of the Rockets, at least they’re trying to beat the Warriors. All these other teams are like eh, were going to build our young team, tank the past couple of years. The Rockets actually tried and by the way, the Warriors have been extended past five games by two teams since they got Kevin Durant. The Rockets twice, and the Clippers. That’s it.”

Though there is some validity to Lowe’s thinking, teams like the Denver Nuggets are now bearing the fruits of developing their young talent, and could become legitimate contenders in the Western Conference should Durant leave the Warriors this summer.