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Warriors assistant coach Ron Adams, Rockets star James Harden are close friends now trying to figure each other out

HOUSTON – To James Harden, Ron Adams is more than merely a Warriors assistant coach trying to figure out a way on defense to stop the Rockets star.

“That’s one of my closest friends,” Harden said of Adams on Saturday. “He was one of my mentors when I got in the league. Just to compete against him, I know he has something up his sleeve over there as far as trying to defend me.”

Adams, 67, served as an assistant for Oklahoma City when he saw the Thunder rookie Harden as a future standout. These days, Harden has had scoring performances of 28 and 38 points in Games 1 and 2 of the Western Conference finals against the Warriors.

“It’s a little bit irritating to me,” Adams said. “That’s how I think. I don’t want anyone scoring on us.

“I like James a lot up until that clock starts ticking and the game starts.”

After the previous game at the Toyota Center in January when the Warriors held Harden to 12 points on 4-for-15 shooting, he walked side by side with Adams while chatting on their way out of the arena. The two also spent time catching when the two teams met for a preseason game in Hidalgo, Texas.

Adams said he would like to think that his knowledge of Harden’s game would be a big factor in containing it.

“Defensively, he’s one of the best that we have in this league,” said Harden, who learned more man-to-man defense from Adams after playing zone for Arizona State.

“He’s a really smart guy over there.”

Recalled Adams: “James was a precocious guy, and we connected. I’m a left-hander. He’s a left-hander.”

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Where to watch tonight’s Warriors-Rockets Game 2?

Now that everyone seems to be on the Warriors bandwagon, here’s the very least any fan needs to know to keep up:

Game 2 of the Warriors vs. Rockets Western Conference Finals is tonight (Thursday) at 6 p.m. PT. The game is televised on ESPN.

If you don’t have a ticket to the game at Oracle Arena, here are some of the best places to enjoy the game with fellow Warriors fanatics:

Tribune Tavern (401 13th Street, Oakland)

SoMa StrEat Food Park (428 11th Street, San Francisco)

Pete’s Tavern & Pedro’s Cantina (128 King Street, San Francisco)

Era (19 Grand Avenue, Oakland)

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NBA fines Warriors’ Stephen Curry $5,000 for flopping

OAKLAND – Warriors guard Stephen Curry was fined $5,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules in the Western Conference finals Game 1 win against Houston.

The NBA ruled that Curry flopped as he hit a 3-pointer to give the Warriors a 106-97 fourth-quarter lead and fell to the floor as the Rockets’ Terrence Jones contested the shot. No foul was called.

Curry finished the game with 34 points, going 6 for 11 from 3-point range and 2 for 3 from the free throw line.

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Charles Barkley: Warriors have ‘little rinky-dink frontline’ that doesn’t stack up with NBA’s best all-time

TNT analyst Charles Barkley continues to have reservations about the Warriors despite them having advanced to the Western Conference finals.

When it was suggested on the Dan Le Batard Show on Tuesday the Warriors could be one of the best teams of all-time, Barkley disagreed.

“You think (Larry) Bird, (Kevin) McHale and (Robert) Parrish, if they saw that little rinky-dink frontline wouldn’t foam at the mouth? You think Magic’s Lakers, you think Michael’s Bulls…

“They done changed the rules where you can’t touch anybody. Every time a guy makes a move, you breathe on him, they’re shooting free throws.

“Listen, they’re a really good jump-shooting team. They play a little small ball well. But let’s don’t get carried away.”

“Golden State is a really good team. Don’t get me wrong.”