Rockets Coach Mike D'Antoni called his team "soft" after their loss in game 3, and though Harden and Paul both brushed off the comment, both played as if they had something to prove.
On top of coughing up such an important game, the Warriors' NBA-record postseason winning streak at home was snapped at 16 games.
The Rockets' trip to the Bay Area started with the worst playoff loss in franchise history - a 41-point drubbing in Game 3, where Golden State scored 28 points off 20 Rockets turnovers.
The Warriors season high 3rd quarter was led by Curry shooting for 17 points, making 5 of 8 three point shots.
After Harden and Curry traded missed 3-pointers, Gordon, buried a 27-footer for a five-point cushion with just 2:25 to play.
"I'm sure we'll look at the film and kick ourselves", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
"I know what we're capable of and I know the level of focus and intensity that this team brings when that is the case", he said. "They just outplayed us in the fourth and they earned it" he added.
Though the pressure to perform is heightened for Harden and Paul, Rockets players and D'Antoni agree that they can't get it done without plenty of help from Houston's supporting cast. "They knew that one stop, the game's over more or less, and came up large".
James Harden had 30 points and Chris Paul 27 for the Rockets, which regained home-court advantage in the best-of-seven series that returns to Houston for Game 5 on Thursday night.
Those are a few of the best reactions on Twitter after Houston's big win in Game 4.
"It's easy to wake up today and kind of think we lost a huge opportunity, whatever this and that and think negatively", he said. Here are your reasons why you should watch every remaining game.
The Warriors got another chance with 42.5 seconds left following Houston's shot-clock violation.
The series winners will face either Cleveland Cavaliers or Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals starting May 31.
"Our normal sub pattern obviously was skewed with Andre's absence", Kerr said. They held the Warriors to just 12 points in the fourth quarter, with only three field goals. Golden State is the most overwhelmingly dominant team ever assembled, with four presumptive future Hall of Fame candidates all still very much at their physical apexes.
A team that features the greatest shooter in National Basketball Association history in Stephen Curry, another all-time great scorer in Kevin Durant, plus all-stars Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, does not need any help putting points on the board.