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Basketball: Experience key against league-best Houston Rockets, says Steve Kerr

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Kevin Durant and James Harden

BC-BKN-Warriors-Rockets, 973 Top-seed Houston hosts Warriors to start conference finalsAP Photo NY159, NY161, NY160Eds: With AP Photos. Four years, to be exact. The Warriors are 25-5 at home in the playoffs since Kerr took over. But you want it again because it's an unbelievable feeling.

"We're confident because we know if we're doing what we're supposed to do, we're going to beat them", he said.

Both the Warriors and Rockets have had six days of rest after clinching their conference finals berths last week and Houston looks to grab the upper hand at home, where it beat Golden State on January 20 to snap the Warriors' seven-game winning streak at the Toyota Center. It was Houston's first step in trying to dethrone the Warriors.

But Warriors coach Steve Kerr is comfortable with where his team are at.

To break this series down in one statement: The lack of playoff experience and relying on young players for large contributions will finally catch-up to the Boston Celtics. "It left a sour taste in our mouths, the way we lost".

"It's the only thing we think about". It's happening - the Western Conference Finals are on deck and they can't come soon enough.

Warriors' Kyle Looney, $4,000: The Warriors will need some production from its bench and I think Looney could be the guy to give them a nice boost. Heading into the season we already knew the Rockets could score with the very best of them. That's been kind of the M.O. of this team.

The Warriors struggled with sustaining motivation throughout the season. Kerr's voice began to ring hollow at times, leading him to try different tactics to engage his team; he even allowed players to run the timeout huddles in a game against the Phoenix Suns in February.

Before I picked a victor between the Warriors and Rockets, I called Jim Barnett and Garry St. Jean. If they win Game 1, it makes Game 2 a must-win for the Rockets.

"It's not the norm, but I like it", said Livingston.

While I don't hate the Warriors, though, I can't say I have any special affinity for them like I once did, or really feel much one way or the other about them. Otherwise, if he gets the space, KD will make you pay, either with perimeter scoring or with a kick-out pass to the bevy of shooters waiting to huck a three-pointer. Appropriate fear. Coming in, being on the road.

"You wanted us. You got us".

Tilman Fertitta owns the Houston Rockets, but he also owns the Golden Nugget casino in downtown Las Vegas. At times, Warriors defenders will leave him wide open to shoot and the gamble oftentimes works out in their favor. If they execute as they did for most of the first 2 quarters of the game, they might just push the Warriors to the limit in this series - though that is easier said than done given how the Dubs have not played even 6 games in a playoff series ever since acquiring Kevin Durant in 2016. James will have to go off but the Celtics are making sure that life is hard for everyone else. There are going to be a lot of adjustments after every game. "At the end of the day, you're playing basketball, and you control what you can control". The two-time MVP looked like his old self when he got back on the court in Game 2 of the second round, scoring 28 points in 27 minutes.

"I hope not", he said. "You've got to be careful with that".

"There's always like a show wherever we go", Iggy said. The Cavs have been averaging 121.5 points per 100 offensive possessions, by far the best out of any playoff team this year.

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