Game 5 of the National Basketball Association Western Conference Finals was played May 24 in Houston. The game was instantly a classic back-and-forth game between the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors.
At halftime, the score was tied at 45. Chris Paul only had two points. During the second half Paul turned it on scoring 18 points, showing exactly why the Rockets signed him out of free agency. In the second half, he hit multiple deep three-pointers, which ignited the whole crowd (including J.J. Watt and Justin Timberlake). Eric Gordon had a terrific night scoring as he finished with 24 points. His best play of the night was on the defensive end when he stole the ball from Draymond Green with 2.4 seconds left. The steal helped secure a Rockets win. The game finished 98-94. James Harden was not himself in this one shooting 5 for 21 including going 0-11 from three point land.
Despite the win, Paul was forced to leave the game in the final minute with a hamstring injury that ended up costing him the rest of the series.
Game 6 was staged May 26 in Golden State. The Rockets had to play this one without Chris Paul as he was continuing to nurse his hamstring. The Rockets got off to a fast start in this one leading by 17 at the end of the first quarter. At halftime, Houston led by 10. Based on the first half it looked like the Rockets were going to advance to the finals. However, in the third quarter the Warriors had different plans — outscoring the Rockets 64-25 in the second half. The Warriors were led by Klay Thompson who finished with 35 points, including nine three pointers. Stephen Curry also had a big performance finishing with 29 points which included five three-pointers. Despite the loss, James Harden had himself a night as he had 32 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. As a team, the Warriors hit 16 three-pointers compared to the Rockets’ 15.
Game 7 between the Rockets and Warriors was played May 28. Paul, once again, was forced to miss this game with the hamstring injury. Just like in Game 6 the Rockets were in control during the first half going up by 16 points and leading by 11 at halftime. Once again the Warriors shined in the third quarter led by Curry, who scored 14 of his 27 points. The Rockets were outscored 33-15 in the third quarter. The Rockets set a playoff record by going on a streak during the game where they missed 27 three-pointers in a row. Over the course of the night, the Rockets shot a dreadful 7-44 on three-pointers. Kevin Durant was unstoppable in the second half scoring six points in a row for the Warriors on a run in the fourth quarter and finishing with 34 points overall.
For the fourth year in a row the Warriors are heading to the NBA Finals to face the Cleveland Cavaliers after defeating the Rockets 101-92 in Game 7.