Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets
When: 9:00 PM ET, Friday, May 10, 2019
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
HOUSTON – The Golden State Warriors own the lead in the Western Conference semifinals over the Houston Rockets, but they are about to take the court as the biggest underdog they have been during their championship run. The Warriors will try to overcome the odds and take the series without superstar Kevin Durant when they visit the Houston Rockets for Game 6 tonight.
Durant left Game 5 in the third quarter on Wednesday and was diagnosed on Thursday with a mild calf strain following an MRI, and he will not make the trip to Houston. “Next man up,” Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson told reporters. “If we need to have him take off a game, we will, ’cause we need him healthy; we plan on playing for a long time. So, we desperately need him if we wanna win a championship, but we can win one game without him. I have confidence in this group.”
The Rockets failed to take advantage of Durant being out of the lineup down the stretch on Wednesday and suffered a 104-99 setback, leaving them one loss away from another disappointing playoff exit. “Obviously, now we got two more games, got to win them both,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters after the loss. “We are home. It’s just a must win. We know that. It was a must win tonight. Must win tomorrow. Always a must win. We’ll be ready. Now is the time to gather our energy and see what happens on Friday. But we’re home. Try to get a win and come back up here and get one.”
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
ABOUT THE WARRIORS: Thompson enjoyed his best game of the series with 27 points on 11-of-20 shooting in Game 5 while backcourt mate Stephen Curry came alive down the stretch and finished with 25 points in the win. “Whoever has the ball, no matter if it’s off a pick-and-roll, we swing, make the defense work, make decisions on that end of the floor,” Curry told reporters. “We still have a lot of weapons and can create good offense through that type of attack. … Just subtle changes that happen when you don’t have those play calls that gets (Durant) in the right spot to take advantage of his talent. We’ll tap into that for however long he’s out.” Durant will be evaluated again next week and is also expected to miss a potential Game 7 on Sunday.
ABOUT THE ROCKETS: Houston superstar James Harden finished with 31 points on 10-of-16 shooting on Wednesday but attempted only one field goal over the final eight minutes. “I mean, I don’t know,” Harden told reporters when asked why he wasn’t more involved down the stretch. “I have to go back and look at the game. Whether it’s other guys were getting shots, open looks, trying to make the right plays at certain points in the game, I’m not sure.” Harden didn’t get much help in the loss from star point guard Chris Paul, who managed 11 points on 3-of-14 shooting, including 0-of-6 from beyond the arc.
1. Rockets PF PJ Tucker collected 13 points and 10 rebounds on Wednesday – his third double-double of the series.
2. Warriors PF Draymond Green came within two points of recording his second triple-double of the series in Game 5.
3. Houston is 5-0 at home in the postseason.