Things didn’t look so great for the Golden State Warriors after dropping Games 3 and 4, but they were able to pull out a Game 5 victory, defeating the Houston Rockets, 104-99.
Despite losing Kevin Durant for the entire fourth quarter due to a right calf strain, the Warriors rode Stephen Curry’s 20-point second half effort to hold off the Rockets’ surge to take a 3-2 series lead.
With the Warriors leading 102-99 in crunch time, Golden State nearly suffered a costly turnover before Kevon Looney recovered a loose ball and Klay Thompson then converted on a layup to close out the game for the Warriors.
It’s unclear how serious Durant’s injury is, but the Warriors might have to overcome his absence as they look to eliminate the Rockets in Game 6. Here are three takeaways from the Warriors Game 5 win:
Sigh of relief
When Kevin Durant came up lame after planting on his right foot for a jump shot, it was impossible to not think the worst: Achilles tear. It seemed to have all the signs, and the fate of not just the Warriors but, in many ways, the entireNBAlandscape was hanging in the balance. When TNT’s Allie LaForce reported that it was a right calf strain, everyone breathed a giant sigh of relief. Well, everyone except the Rockets, perhaps.
We still have to see how long Durant will be out, and the calf strain might not even be an official diagnosis at this point. But all things considered, this is about as good of news as the Warriors could’ve possibly hoped for.
Now that’s a championship response
Stephen Curry was, and largely still is, in the middle of one of the worst shooting streaks of his career. Given the stakes, it probably is the worst. When Durant went out, Curry had just nine points and was missing everything again. But when it came time to dig deep with Durant in the locker room, Curry was there.
All told, Curry scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half. Klay Thompson hit huge shots. Draymond Green hit a monster three. Andre Iguodala made plays. Kevon Looney was the MVP of the game. On a night when the Celtics showed everyone what it looks like to wither up and die without a fight, the Warriors reminded everyone what the heart of a champion looks and feels like. You don’t win three out of four championships by accident.
Series is far from over
When a best-of-seven series is tied 2-2, the team that wins Game 5 goes on to win the series 82 percent of the time. In other words, historically speaking, the Rockets have a less than 20-percent chance of winning this series. But it sure doesn’t feel that way, does it? The home team has won every game in this series, and if Durant is out for Game 6, obviously you favor the Rockets in that game, and then anything can happen in Game 7. This series is far from over.
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How to watch Rockets vs. Warriors Game 6
- Date:Friday, May 10
- Time:9:00 p.m. ET
- Location:Toyota Center — Houston, Texas
- TV channel:ESPN
- Live stats: GameTracker
- Online streaming: WatchESPN
- Odds: Not available at this time
All games will air on ESPN, ABC, TNT and NBA TV during the postseason. Games on TNT and NBA TV can be streamed via fuboTV (try it for free).
Odds and Analysis
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