For the second year in a row, the Golden State Warriors proved to be lethal for the Houston Rockets. The reigning champions have defeated James Harden and the company in Game 6 last night, and advanced to the Western Conference finals.
The final result was 118-113 for the Warriors who managed to come out from this tight and close battle as winners mostly because of their two franchise players.
Steph Curry and Klay Thomspon recalled the old days this Friday, reminding all the experts and doubtful fans that they still are the Splash Brothers. Without Kevin Durant in the starting lineup, many people thought that the series is over for the Warriors.
Most of them forgot the fact that this team ruled the West before KD landed in Oakland, and it has enormous qualities even with two-time NBA Finals MVP unavailable.
“To get this win, it felt amazing,” said Draymond Green.
The game at Toyota Center was thrilling and intense right from the start. It saw 22 lead changes in 48 minutes, and neither side had a double-digit advantage.
Houston had a 7-point lead exactly 11 minutes before the end of the clash, but they couldn’t keep it. Why? Because of Steph Curry, who dropped 23 points from that moment. All of his 33 points came in the second half.
The Warriors caught up and passed the Rockets at the middle of the quarters, shifting into a higher gear on the defensive side of the court, and preventing the hosts to score for more than four minutes.
Steph Curry’s three with 6:31 to go tied the score at 97 both, Kevon Looney added two more points, and Curry hit once more from the deep, to conclude an 8-0 series which pushed the Warriors ahead.
This run was the decisive one eventually.
“The fourth quarter was amazing,” said Curry during the on-court interview right after the game. “We played amazing defense. Took shots we know we can make, and they went in.”
— NBA (@NBA) May 11, 2019
However, until Curry started splashing, the guy who kept Golden State in the game was, Klay Thompson who had 21 points in the first half.
One reporter asked him during the media availability did this game recalled the memories from three or four years ago when they played without Durant.
“It did,” Klay said, but added that his team definitely missed Durant, who is the best player of the Warriors in this playoffs.
Thompson hit a game-deciding three with 36.1 left, which pulled away the guests to a six-point lead, 110-104.
After that Houston didn’t use its possession, and Curry sunk two more free throws. Steph ended the night with 33 points and 5 boards, converting all of his 11 free throw attempts.
Klay had 27 with 7 threes, while Andre Iguodala scored 17 points replacing Durant in the starting lineup, having 5 steals and making 5 hits from behind the arc.
— NBA (@NBA) May 11, 2019
Meanwhile, the Rockets were desperate after the game. This was the fourth time over the last five seasons, that they couldn’t beat the Warriors.
“This one’s going to leave a mark,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “This is not something you just get over. This one hurts.”
The Rockets missed the opportunity to exploit Durant’s absence, and the fact that Curry had a bad opening, and that is something you shouldn’t in the series against the champions.
James Harden admitted that after the game, stating that his team failed to use a perfect chance to beat the big rival from Oakland finally.
“If you don’t take advantage of opportunities you end up on the losing side,” Harden said.
The Beard did everything in his power to win this one. He had 35 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals, made 6 threes, but it wasn’t enough.
The fact that Chris Paul played his best game of the series, contributing with 27 points, 11 boards and 6 assists, didn’t help either.
Simply, the Warriors were better last night. And in the entire series.
They are now waiting for the winner of Game 7 between the Nuggets and the Blazers which takes place at the Pepsi Center tomorrow.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.