NBA Playoffs Preview: Warriors at Rockets Game 7

Warriors at Rockets Game 7 Preview

The Golden State Warriors found the form that made them NBA champions in the second half on Saturday and used it to run away with a win and force a Game 7 in the Western Conference finals. The Warriors will try to carry that momentum on the road and earn their fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals when they visit the Houston Rockets on Monday.

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The Rockets jumped out to a 39-22 lead after the first quarter in Game 6 and held a 61-51 edge at the break only to score 25 points in the second half and suffer a 115-86 setback as Golden State exploded behind Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry. “We’d like to get off to a better start,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters. “But we like — we like our formula. We like our defense against these guys, and we feel confident that we can carry this through to Game 7 on the road and continue to make things as difficult as possible on Houston without fouling.” Houston is confident heading home despite the beating it took in the second half on Saturday and the uncertainty surrounding the health of point guard Chris Paul. “If you asked us when we were in the Bahamas this summer, this team together, you know, Western Conference Finals, Game 7 to go to the finals against the Warriors, we’ll take that,” Rockets star James Harden told reporters. “So, nothing changes for us. We know what we have to do.”

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ABOUT THE WARRIORS: Thompson finished with 35 points and went 9-of-14 from 3-point range in Game 6 as Golden State started to push the pace and move the ball. “I feel like we’re the best team in the world and most fun team in the world to watch when we’re pushing that ball, getting defensive stops and making plays,” Thompson told reporters. “We’ve got too much talent not just to hit singles like coach always says. Trust the next man ahead of us. It will end up working in our favor most of the time.” Thompson added four steals to his performance and his teammates credited his work on Harden at the defensive end for sparking the offense.

ABOUT THE ROCKETS: Paul sat out Game 6 with a hamstring injury suffered in the final minute of Game 5 and remains uncertain for Game 7. Houston committed 21 turnovers without their point guard on the floor in Game 6, including nine by Harden, who finished with 32 points and nine assists but continued a trend of poor shooting from beyond the arc with a 4-of-12 effort. “There’s no pressure,” Harden told reporters of Game 7. “It’s an opportunity, though, an opportunity that we all are excited to be a part of. Game 7 at our house. That’s what we worked the entire regular season for, is homecourt advantage. We’re going to come out and we’re going to be ready.”

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Warriors SF Andre Iguodala (knee) sat out the last three games and is questionable for Game 7.

2. Houston SG Gerald Green is 6-of-9 from 3-point range over the last two games.

3. Golden State PF Draymond Green collected 10 rebounds, nine assists, five blocks and four steals in Game 6.

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