The Warriors are talking the talk that they don't feel added pressure being down 3-2 in the seven-game series, but they do have a legacy to maintain and that doesn't include losing before the NBA Finals even if the Rockets were the top seed in the West. Then after the Rockets' Trevor Ariza missed a free throw, the Warriors got possession only to have Eric Gordon steal the ball away from Draymond Green - ultimately sealing the game for Houston. "I hope he gets better and, if not, somebody else has to step up and do what we've been doing all year, step in and try to help this team win". "So, going home Game 6, the way we played tonight, if we can repeat that, take care of turnovers, just stay mentally locked in on the details for 48 minutes, we know we can get a win". Leonard played in only nine games last season due to a nagging quad injury as rumors surfaced of a growing rift between the two-time All-Star and the championship organization coached by Gregg Popovich.
Chris Paul will miss the game that could put his team in the NBA Finals. Now the Rockets will have to go on without him for at least one game. "We're a group of champions", Green said.
The Warriors opened as a 10.5-point favorite for Game 6 at several sportsbooks.
D'Antoni has leaned more heavily on the Gordon + starters lineup during the postseason, as it's become his second-most-used lineup. In his first season in Houston after a summer trade from the Clippers, Paul has paired with Harden to move the Rockets within one victory of reaching the NBA Finals for the first time since Houston won titles in 1994 and 1995.
Kevin Durant scored 29 points for the Warriors, who lost in Game 5 of a playoff series for just the second time since 2015. The Warriors defeated the Rockets 126-85.
Last year's Western Conference Finals only went four games before eventual champ Golden State headed off to the finals against Cleveland, so a direct comparison is a little bit of a bad pass.