Houston, Texas, USA: The Houston Rockets defeated the Golden State Warriors, 98-94, at the Toyota Center, Thursday night to take a lead in the best of seven series 3-2 despite shooting 30.2% from three in game 5 of the Western Conference finals.
Eric Gordon came off the bench to score 24 points and his steal on Golden State’s last possession clinched it for Houston.
Chris Paul scored 20 points but had to leave the game in the final minute with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
James Harden added 19 points going 0 for 11 from 3-point range
Rockets center Clint Capela dominated the paint early in the first half finishing with 12 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks
“We’ve got to rely on our defense once again,” Harden said after the game. “Game 4 we weren’t making shots but defensively we were really good, same thing tonight.”
And Houston did defend tonight, forcing Golden State to turn the ball over 17 times.
The Rockets held the Warriors to 45.1 percent shooting from the floor Thursday and have now held Golden State under 46 percent in all three wins in the series.
Golden State have not shot that poorly since Game 3 of the semifinals against the Pelicans.
Kevin Durant scored 29 points for the Warriors, who lost in Game 5 of a playoff series for just the second time since 2015.
Klay Thompson went 8-of-14 shooting and 4 of 7 from 3-point range with 23 points and four rebounds.
The Rockets wore a patch on their jerseys in honor of Santa Fe High School in Game 5 tonight.
The Santa Fe High School Choir performed the National Anthem with members of the Senior Class, First Responders, and the Santa Fe Independent School Dstrict, ISD, in attendance at Toyota Center.
Rapper Travis Scott also paid his respects to those impacted from the Santa Fe High School shooting in pre-game ceremonies.
The Rockets head into Game 6 on Saturday night in Oakland, California one win away from knocking off the defending champions and advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since the Hakeem Olajuwon led Rockets won back-to-back titles in 1994-95.
“For us nothing changes. We take it game by game, position by position, try to compete our butts off and give ourselves the best chance.” James Harden said after tonight’s game.
The Rockets led the league with 65 regular-season wins from 82 games.
The winner of the series will face either the Cleveland Cavaliers or Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals starting on 31 May. The Celtics currently lead the Warriors 3-2 in the Eastern Conference finals.
|Game 1||Mon. May 14 (WARRIORS WIN)||9 p.m.||Houston (Target Center)|
|Game 2||Weds. May 16 (ROCKETS WIN)||9 p.m.||Houston (Target Center)|
|Game 3||Sun. May 20 (WARRIORS WIN)||8 p.m.||Golden State (Oracle Arena)|
|Game 4||Tue. May 22 (ROCKETS WIN)||9 p.m.||Golden State (Oracle Arena)|
|* Game 5||Thu. May 24 (ROCKETS WIN)||9 p.m.||Houston (Target Center)|
|* Game 6||Sat. May 26||9 p.m.||Golden State (Oracle Arena)|
|* Game 7||Mon. May 28||9 p.m.||Houston (Target Center)|
* if necessary