Houston faces elimination after 104-99 loss
3-pointers from Rockets game 5 loss versus Warriors
The Houston Rockets tipped off late Wednesday night against the Golden State Warriors in a pivotal game 5 of the western conference semifinals. Houston suffered from multiple double-digit deficits in the first half, but battled back in the third quarter to even the score. Both teams would trade leads in the fourth, but it was Golden State who would come out on top. Golden State now leads the series 3 games to 2 in the best of 7 series.
Throughout the regular season, Houston's starting center terrorized opponents with his athletic versatility and ability to feed on alley-oop opportunities. It was expected that Clint Capela would be a major piece in this series, but so far the Warriors have refused to allow Capela to become a factor. He's looked lost, failed to catch easy lobs, and refuses to challenge anyone down low. Tonight he played himself off the court once again, logging only 26 minutes in a must-win game. Capela must find a way to reassert himself somehow in this series if Houston wants to dictate the game play.
Durant goes down
Kevin Durant was firing on all cylinders once again Wednesday night when late in the third quarter he came up limping on a non-contact injury. He immediately retreated to the locker room and did not return to the game. The issue is being characterized as a right calf strain at the moment. It seemed like a golden opportunity for Houston to steal a win in Oakland, but late runs from the Warriors' other stars sealed the victory. If Durant misses any time moving forward, Houston's chances of clawing back into this series is vastly improved.
Splash brothers regroup
After a collective game 4 shooting clunker between Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, game 5 was a solid reversal of fortune. Klay Thompson provided a long overdue Klay Thompson moment, as he was unable to miss for most of the first quarter, going 5-7 for 12 points. Curry, still slumping from beyond the arc, attacked the rim at an efficient 6-12 clip. When Durant went down, it was the collective effort of both Thompson and Curry who picked up the slack and prevented Houston from running away with the game. Thompson finished with 27 points, while Curry finished with 25.
Rockets player of the game
James Harden: 31 points (10-16 from the field), 8 assists, 4 rebounds, 4 steals, 1 block
Warriors player of the game
Klay Thompson: 27 points (5-10 from 3-point range), 1 assist, 4 rebounds, 3 steals
The Rockets will take on the Warriors on Friday for game 6 of the western conference semifinals at 8:00 pm, central.