OAKLAND, Calif. — Steve Kerr saw his share of spectacular postseason performances playing alongside one of the greatest ever.

“There was this guy named Michael, I can’t remember his last name,” the Golden State coach cracked Sunday in reference to a former Chicago Bulls teammate, Michael Jordan.

Kevin Durant is having a superb postseason run of his own.

Durant scored 35 points in outdueling James Harden and the Warriors held off the Houston Rockets 104-100 in the opener of what’s shaping up to be a sensational best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal.

“When he’s being as aggressive as he’s been, I don’t think there’s anyone in the NBA, maybe the world who can stop him,” Draymond Green said of Durant, the two-time reigning NBA finals MVP.

Chris Paul of Houston was ejected with 4.4 seconds left for a second technical, though he said he wasn’t sure what he did wrong, and wouldn’t say whether he made contact with official Josh Tiven while arguing.

“I don’t know yet. Nobody told me. He just called a tech,” said Paul, who had rebounded a missed 3-pointer by Harden that could have tied the game with nine seconds left and was arguing for a foul.

Green added 14 points, nine assists and nine rebounds for the two-time defending champion Warriors, who are meeting the Rockets in the postseason for the fourth time in five years, with Houston never winning.

Game 2 is Tuesday night back at Oracle Arena.

Harden scored 35 points and Eric Gordon 27 after both struggled early. The Rockets shot 14 of 47 from long range.

Harden, who shot 9 of 28 overall and 4 of 16 on 3s, wasn’t shy about his frustration with the officiating and the lack of foul calls on Houston’s 3-point tries.

“I just want a fair chance, man. Call the game how it’s supposed to be called and that’s it, and I’ll live with the results,” Harden said.

Told of Harden’s remarks, Green said: “Huh? I’ve been fouled by (Harden) on a (Harden) 3-pointer before. I ain’t trying to hear that.”

Harden’s three-point play with 40 seconds left pulled Houston within 100-98. Stephen Curry knocked down a 3 on the other end over Nene moments later, and finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Durant, who combined for 95 points the previous two games against the Los Angeles Clippers, shot 11 of 25 and made 12 of 15 free throws in his fifth straight 30-point playoff performance – matching his career-best streak accomplished from June 1-12, 2017.

“Kevin’s run these last couple weeks has just been off the charts,” Kerr said.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.