Our event of the day is the first game of the Western Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs between the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors at the Toyota Center in Houston. This highly anticipated clash between the two dominant sides in the West and main contenders for the Championship is finally here. The Rockets who clinched the Southwest Division and the Western Conference with a league best record of 65-17, have reached the Conference Finals after two emphatic series triumphs. First, they beat the Minnesota Timberwolves and then the Utah Jazz – both 4-1. The reigning champions and winners of the Pacific Division, Warriors, were equally convincing going past the San Antonio Spurs and the New Orleans Pelicans in the first two rounds, also with both series been won 4-1.
This is the fourth straight Conference Finals for Golden State and they have won on each of the previous occasions but all these times were when they had home court advantage. All three regular season meetings were tight with Houston winning two of them, including the season opener in Oakland – 122-121. The two sides were the league’s best offensive teams in the regular season, the Rockets and the Warriors have raised their defensive levels in the playoffs and have the best defensive ratings – Houston allowing 102.1 points per 100 possessions; Golden State just 99.3. With superstars in each position on both sides of the court – James Harden, Chris Paul, Clint Capela, Trevor Ariza and PJ Tucker for the hosts; and Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala for the visitors – this is surely going to be a fantastic and close series.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the EFL Championship playoffs semi-final second leg between Fulham and Derby County at Craven Cottage in London. Derby won the first leg at home 1-0, courtesy of a Cameron Jerome first half goal. In MLB, the Los Angeles Angels come up against the Houston Astros at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim. It’s the fourth and final day of the County Championship Division One duel between Surrey and Yorkshire at the Oval in London . In the Indian Premier League, the Kings XI Punjab welcome the Royal Challengers Bangalore to the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore. Elsewhere in cricket, it’s Day 4 of the Pakistan Tour Test match between Ireland and Pakistan at the Village in Dublin. In tennis, the ATP and WTA World Tour tournament Internazionali BNL d’Italia takes place at the Foro Italico in Rome.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by NBA
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