Photo: Ronald Martinez (Getty Images)

For the second game in a row, the Chris Paul-less Houston Rockets held the upper hand against the Warriors after one half of play. And for the second game in a row, Golden State took away all the Rockets had over a commanding final two quarters. Not even a raucous home crowd could save Houston from a 101-92 Game 7 defeat, which sets up a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals for the fourth season in a row.

Aided by some Klay Thompson foul trouble, a possible Steph Curry injury, and a general Warrior apathy on the glass, the Rockets built themselves a nice lead that topped itself out at 48-33 but never felt safe. And as the Rockets’ shooting turned from passable to utterly frozen—they started 6-of-14 from beyond the arc and then missed 27 straight threes—that advantage evaporated. From a tie game at 61-each to a 72-63 Warriors lead, a quite healthy-looking Steph Curry scored all 11 of his team’s points, and the Dubs’ lead held steady until the end.

I’m not sure if this is a deal with the devil or, more naturally, just an overpowering amount of talent, but the fact that the Warriors can essentially take the first half off and still win big playoff games in pretty pedestrian fashion is truly terrifying, even moreso than the front-to-back dominations we’re used to from this team. LeBron is going to have his hands full.