Despite a sub par performance by James Harden, the Houston Rockets are one win away from advancing to the NBA Finals.
After pulling off an amazing comeback victory in Oakland, the Houston Rockets took a 3-2 series lead over the Golden State Warriors in a 98-94 Game 5 win, Thursday night, in the Toyota Center. Although very few people gave them a chance to win the series, the Rockets are now one win away from advancing to their fifth NBA Finals appearance.
Despite a sub par performance by James Harden, the Rockets supporting cast stepped up when their MVP needed them the most. Eric Gordon, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, came off the bench and scored an impressive 24 points while shooting 6-15 from the field.
Not only did he make his presence felt on the offensive end, but on the defensive side as well. Gordon was the primary defender for several key defensive plays, including the game-winning steal from Warriors forward, Draymond Green.
Clint Capela also showed why he will be a highly coveted free agent this summer as he added 12 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocks in the win.
Despite scoring 19 points in 39 minutes, Harden’s second-half struggles from Game 4 continued in Houston. He shot 5-21 from the field and has now missed his last 20 three-point field goal attempts.
However, the Rockets would find their MVP performance in their all-star point guard, Chris Paul. The future Hall-of-Famer is the reason why the Rockets pulled away with the win, as he scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half.
Unfortunately for Paul, his heroic efforts came at a price as he injured his right hamstring in the final 22 seconds of the fourth. Following the game, there has been no word on how serious Paul’s injury is and his status for Game 6 is questionable.
Kevin Durant led the way for the Warriors with 29 points as their two-time MVP, Stephen Curry added in 22 points of his own. Although the Rockets defense has played a huge factor in their struggles, the Warriors have not looked like the offensive juggernaut that we’re used to seeing.
With a chance to advance to the Finals with a 3-2 series lead, the Rockets are one win away from shutting up all their doubters once and for all. Game 6 is set for Saturday night at Oracle Arena.