The Houston Rockets are now just one win away from something they’ve been chasing all season, a trip to the NBA Finals. They’ve pushed this series to 3-2 after an absolutely huge win at home.
This one was close throughout as both teams traded blows the entire game. Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson lit the Rockets up for a combined 74 points, but in the end it wasn’t enough. A late-game turnover from Draymond Green sealed the Warriors’ fate.
The biggest story in this game, and maybe the funnest part of these Western Conference Finals, was Chris Paul. He cut into the Warriors for 20 points and 6 assists and had a big second half, hitting several go ahead buckets for the Rockets, and filling the void of a struggling James Harden, who went 0-11 from three and 5-21 from the field. Eric Gordon was the difference in this game, pouring in 24 points off the bench and hitting several late-game threes.
Although it was a big night for Houston and it’s fans, everyone will be on the edge of their seats to see if Paul will play next game after suffering an apparent hamstring injury late in the 4th quarter.
FINAL: Warriors 94, Rockets 98
Warriors 91, Rockets 95 (1:21 4Q)
Eric Gordon hit an absolutely huge three to put the Rockets up 4 with just over a minute left.
Warriors 86, Rockets 92 (4:05 4Q)
This one’s still close but the Rockets are pulling further and further away. Chris Paul is absolutely taking over for Houston.
Warriors 80, Rockets 81 (7:53 4Q)
Another possession, another insane shot by Chris Paul. These two teams are trading punches and it’s looking like this one will go down to the wire.
Warriors 72, Rockets 71 (End of 3Q)
Things remain close as the two teams continue to go jumper for jumper. James Harden will need to have a huge 4th quarter if the Rockets hope to come away with a win.
Warriors 59, Rockets 59 (6:14 3Q)
We’re still all tied up, but before we go any further we have to examine this shot by Chris Paul and what happened afterwards.
Chris Paul literally did Steph’s signature shimmy after draining a three in his face. The best moment of the playoffs to be honest.
Warriors 52 Rockets 52 (09:20 3Q)
Back to back threes from Chris Paul and Kevin Durant have the game tied early in the third. Each teams will need big quarters from all of their stars if either one wants to win this one.
I think J.J. Watt had to buy a separate seat for his arms.
Warriors 45, Rockets 45 (halftime)
Houston came out with energy and Golden State had nearly as many turnovers (eight) as assists (nine), making this a game that feels like the Rockets should be up double digits. But instead this game is tied at the break, with the Warriors erasing an 11-point lead. Kevin Durant leads all scorers with 18.
James Harden had nine points to lead Houston, including this sweet crossover.
But Harden and Chris Paul combined to shoot just 4-of-20 from the field.
Rockets 35, Warriors 28 (6:58, 2Q)
Houston was complaining about Steph Curry finagling a foul call on a three-point shot, when Warriors coach Steve Kerr couldn’t help but chime in to James Harden.
the rockets are complaining to the refs about steph being fouled on a questionable 3pt attempt.— nbaayy (@nbaayy) May 25, 2018
steve kerr to harden: "that's your move"
what a legend pic.twitter.com/dwY49ic4QA
Rockets 35, Warriors 26 (7:05, 2Q)
Clint Capela made his presence felt early with eight points and seven rebounds in the first quarter. But his most memorable play of the first half was protecting the rim with this perfect block on Draymond Green.
Rockets 30, Warriors 24 (9:16, 2Q)
James Harden has a few strong finishes at the basket in the Western Conference Finals, including this hard stuff after beating Draymond Green off the dribble.
Rockets 23, Warriors 17 (End 1Q)
Neither team shot very well in the first quarter. Houston shot 33.3% (including 3-of-14 from three-point range) and Golden State just 38%. Kevin Durant kept the Warriors in it with 11 of his team’s 17 points.
Rockets 19, Warriors 10 (2:31, 1Q)
That’s not a seat, that’s Draymond Green‘s face!
Rockets 13, Warriors 8 (3:55, 1Q)
It’s the Clint Capela show early in this one, with the Houston big man getting four easy buckets in the first seven minutes. He has eight points and seven rebounds early.
Home court advantage
Fans at Toyota Center are wearing these “Houston Strong” T-shirts for Game 5.
We are down to a best-of-three in the 2018 NBA Western Conference Finals, and the Houston Rockets have regained home court advantage, hosting the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 on Thursday night at Toyota Center in Houston (9 p.m. ET, TNT).
Houston evened things up Tuesday night in Game 4 in Oakland, snapping Golden State’s NBA-record 16-game home playoff winning streak. The Rockets overcame an early 12-0 deficit and turned around after trailing by 10 in the fourth quarter.
Houston held the Warriors to 92 points Tuesday, Golden State’s third time scoring under 100 this postseason but first with Stephen Curry playing in their last 25 playoff games.
“I thought this is the highest level we’ve ever played defensively, without a doubt,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni told the Associated Press, “because we’re talking about the best offensive team ever.”
James Harden scored 30 points in the Game 4 win and he’s averaging 29.5 points per game during the series. Chris Paul added 27 on Tuesday, including eight in the fourth-quarter comeback.
These two teams have met in the playoffs three times in the last four seasons, and Tuesday was the Rockets’ first win in eight tries in Oakland. They are 3-3 in Houston in those series. The Rockets are 6-2 at home this postseason.
Rockets vs. Warriors Game 5 info
Location: Toyota Center, Houston
Game time: 9 p.m. ET
Announcers: Marv Albert, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, David Aldridge, Kristen Ledlow
Online streaming: Watch TNT