Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Houston Rockets: The whole season comes down to Game 7

Houston Rockets: The whole season comes down to Game 7

Playing without injured point guard Chris Paul, the Rockets shocked the defending champs with an early burst of four consecutive three-pointers to help produce a 39-22 lead after one quarter.

Curry (the Warriors $201 million point guard) passed up the big shot, opting to trust Green to catch a pass and either stick a game victor or hit Klay Thompson in the corner.

"There's no pressure", said Harden, who had 32 points and nine assists but committed nine turnovers in Game 6.

Trailing 61-51 at halftime, the Warriors opened the 3rd quarter on an 8-0 scoring run. Klay Thompson and Steph Curry quickly reminded everyone why they're called the Splash Brothers. His best game was against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 22, when he had a career-high 20 points on nine-for-13 shooting and 10 rebounds.

And quite frankly, if Golden State can't, at the very least, win Game 6 on their home floor with Paul sidelined, they don't deserve to be in the conversation for being the best team in National Basketball Association history. Even so, network execs could have reason to wonder if the lack of novelty could erode viewership - though if the conference championship round has taught us anything, it's that the best ratings tonic is often a seven-game series.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry slices between Houston Rockets Trevor Ariza and James Harden
MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ AP Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry slices between Houston Rockets Trevor Ariza and James Harden

And it seems the sports betting world is pretty convinced Paul won't play in Monday night's Game 7 (or won't be almost as effective if he does).

Likewise, GSW's Andre Iguodala is considered a game time decision after missing the last two games, both Warriors losses, with a bruised left knee.

"Obviously we want to have him", Rockets forward PJ Tucker said. "I thought we had a breakthrough last game, a couple things offensively". But the number of ridiculous calls going for the home team, particularly in the third quarter when the game began to get out of hand, was pretty remarkable. "I believe in our boys", said Thaddeus Gill. Houston went 65-17 during the regular season, including 15-9 in games in which Paul didn't play. He'll surely dress and go through warmups and then we'll see. And during Game 6 on Saturday, they were by his side directing him.

This Houston group hasn't been to the Finals, and they haven't been to a Game 7 in the Conference Finals (the Warriors beat the Thunder in Game 7 of the WCF two years ago, for example). Now they go back to Houston where the role players are more consistent and the whistle tends to favor the otherside. "He's one of the best point guards in the league, but if he doesn't play, we'll figure it out". Houston made seven of 11 three-point shots in the first quarter, building a lead as big as 17 points.

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