Warriors Storm Back At Home To Force Game 7

Tonya Becker
May 29, 2018

On Saturday night, the defending National Basketball Association champs routed the Houston Rockets 115-86 to force a Game 7 in the Western Conference Finals - reminding their opponents and National Basketball Association fans that the reigning champs are not ready to relinquish the throne.

Paul injured the hamstring in the final seconds of Game 5 Thursday night following a fadeaway shot over Warriors' guard Quinn Cook.

Without Paul in Game 6, the Rockets fell 115-86 to the Warriors.

Paul played a major role in the Rockets' last two victories, averaging 23.5 points in those two wins, but strained his hamstring in the final minute of Game 5. The Rockets had a ten point lead going into halftime.

Klay produced an offensive explosion as he posted 41 points and hit 11 three-pointers.

He mentioned that the assessment wasn't gamesmanship or an attempt to be coy and that they'd be more direct about Paul's status the moment they have more clarity. Rockets guard Eric Gordon started in Paul's place and had 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting.

The Western Conference Finals heads back to Toyota Center as the Rockets looking to wind up the series against Steph Curry and the Warriors, and claim their golden ticket to the 2018 NBA Finals.

Mindful of what happened right after that series - the Warriors would blow a 3-1 lead of their own to Cleveland - Curry said: "I think we both blocked that whole year out of our memory". The Rockets can't blame this loss exclusively on Paul's hamstring injury, but his absence had a clear effect on Houston's already thin rotation.

Of course, without a Game 7 win, this is all relatively meaningless.

It seems as though the team actually does have no idea about how Paul's recovery is going to progress these next handful of hours before game 7. Twenty. Six. At one point they missed 29-of-30. Last year, the Warriors clinched the championship in only five games, not ideal from a network or advertiser point of view, so that kind of one-sided Finals series is always possible. They had 25 in the entire second half.

Rockets: Houston fell to 6-5 all-time in Game 7s and 4-2 at home. He asked, rhetorically, if the Rockets would take a Game 7 on their home court against the Warriors and, in a heartbeat, D'Antoni acknowledged the benefit of that scenario.

The Rockets will need to try and figure out a way to survive without Paul.

"The guy's a machine", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

The Warriors are one win away from a fourth straight NBA Finals, while the Rockets seek their first Finals trip since 1995.

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