Golden State Warriors lead 2 – 0 in NBA Western Conference Finals

Warriors edge Rockets to double series lead

 Agence France-Presse Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Houston Rockets guard James Harden, center, loses the ball on the game's final play as he Golden State Warriors guards Stephen Curry, left, and Klay Thompson defend during the second half of Game 2 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, May 21, 2015. The Warriors won 99-98. AP PHOTO.

Warriors edge Rockets to double series lead

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Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry, right, drives the ball against Houston Rockets' Trevor Ariza during the second half of Game 1 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. The Warriors won 110-106. AP PHOTO.

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Houston Rockets guard James Harden, center, loses the ball on the game's final play as he Golden State Warriors guards Stephen Curry, left, and Klay Thompson defend during the second half of Game 2 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, May 21, 2015. The Warriors won 99-98. AP PHOTO.

OAKLAND, United States–NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors edged the Houston Rockets 99-98 on Thursday (Friday, Manila time) to strengthen their advantage in the Western Conference finals.

Curry again came out on top in a duel with James Harden, the Warriors stifling the Rockets star in the moments before the final buzzer to preserve the win.

READ: Warriors rally past Rockets 110-106 in Game 1 of West finals

They took a two-games-to-none lead over the Rockets in the best-of-seven series, with the winners to take on the Eastern Conference champions in the NBA finals.

Golden State had to battle to the bitter end. Their eight-point lead was trimmed to one after Harden’s alley-oop pass to Dwight Howard with 33 seconds remaining.

Golden State Warriors guards Stephen Curry, left, and Klay Thompson celebrate after the Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets 99-98 in Game 2 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, May 21, 2015. The Warriors won 99-98. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

After Harrison Barnes missed a reverse layup at the other end, the Rockets raced the ball up the court.

But Harden was double-teamed by Curry and Klay Thompson as the clock ticked down, passing to Howard on the perimeter.

Howard tossed the ball right back, Curry poked the ball away, and the Rockets were unable to get a potential game-winning shot off.

Curry led the Warriors with 33 points, including five three-pointers.

The hosts, who let slip an early 16-point lead to head into halftime tied 55-55, regrouped to take a 77-75 lead into the final period.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he expected every game in the series to be a similar back-and-forth battle.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots against Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) during the second half of Game 2 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, May 21, 2015. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

“We’re right where we need to be,” said Kerr, whose team led the league with 67 regular-season victories.

“We won the two at home. Now we head to Houston. Every game is probably going to be like this.”

Harden finished with a game-high 38 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Rockets, who host game three on Saturday.

Houston center Howard had 19 points and 17 rebounds, playing 40 minutes despite suffering a strained left knee in game one.

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