The Golden State Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets just a couple of days after Kevin Durant strained his calf in game five. Although Steph Curry helped his team hold onto a critical game five victory, he would be called upon to deliver even bigger with his team’s best scoring option sidelined with injury. He went on to deliver 33 points (All in the second half) en route to leading the Warriors to their fifth consecutive Western Conference Finals appearance. Curry’s performance highlighted his leadership and calmness while delivering in the clutch to get his team to the next round as he scored 23 of his 33 in the final quarter. Klay Thompson chipped in 27 points (21 from 3-point range) while Andre Iguodala came alive in Durant’s absence scoring 17 points including 15 from 3-point range. Draymond Green almost notched a triple-double by scoring eight points to go along with 10 rebounds and seven asissts. People often forget these were the original Golden State Warriors that won a championship and went 73-10 the following season without Kevin Durant in their roster. Instead they won with the four aforementioned stars who had been on the roster since Mark Jackson was their head coach.
Many figured that with Durant and DeMarcus Cousins out with injury, the rockets with James Harden and Chris Paul would be enough to will the Rockets to victory. The pair tallied 62 points and 19 assists combined but their status as closers has once again been marred by back to back upset losses that they had no business losing. Kevin Durant went down late in game five and that put the Rockets in prime position take a hold of that game with Durant then sidelined. Instead Harden became less aggressive (Five points in the fourth quarter) while the rest of the team crumbled under the pressure of trying to withhold a lead at Oracle. Oh and it didn’t help that Steph Curry got hot late either.
The Rockets and the rest of the NBA must always remember that Curry lead his team to a Western Conference Finals series win in 2016 after being down 3-1 to the Oklahoma City Thunder who then had Kevin Durant.