Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

Eric Gordon guides Houston Rockets to crucial Game 5 win

Eric Gordon guides Houston Rockets to crucial Game 5 win

Chris Paul, James Harden and the Rockets took down the Warriors 98-94 to go up 3-2 in the Western Conference Finals.

Just a few days later, the Warriors are on the brink of elimination, needing to win both Games 6 and 7 of the series to advance to a fourth-straight NBA Finals. Golden State has managed just over 107 points a game in this series, and Houston has held the defending champions to 97 points in its three wins.

Iguodala and Klay Thompson are both listed at questionable for Game 5, according to the latest injury report released Wednesday afternoon.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters Thompson "is moving around really well". It can make a coach do insane things, like play Looney and Bell together for three minutes against elite competition.

"I thought Klay was awesome tonight, not just the 35 points and the nine 3s but his defense", Kerr said.

♦ After averaging 322.7 passes per game during the regular season, this Warriors squad that believes so heavily in ball movement and targets 300 as a magic number of sorts has been forced to change its ways.

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Whilst the likes of John Terry and Jack Grealish would nearly certainly exit as well. The owners at West Ham wouldn't let me go to a Premier League club.

His eight first-half points - including a pair of 3-pointers - and versatile defense were key contributions when shots weren't falling for the Rockets' backcourt. That was Clint Olajuwon, err, Capela, as Rockets guard Gerald Green joked he should be renamed. "I know exactly what I'm seeing out there and we defended them beautifully tonight".

"I think (if you) guessed what the final score would be between the Rockets and Warriors, and neither team getting to 100 two straight games, don't know what the odds (would be) on that", he said. If Iguodala can't go, it will be a major setback for Golden State - not just because he is its most essential role player, but because his absence would further deplete a thin wing rotation.

The Warriors kept up the pressure - Durant posting 18 and Steph Curry 11 as Golden State made it 45-45 at half-time. Houston committed four quick turnovers. The Warriors are 5-5 in their last 10 road games.

Once Irving left Cleveland and a hobbled Isaiah Thomas failed to fill his shoes, James lost more than a sidekick-he also lost the ability to pace himself.

Speaking after Wednesday's practice at the University of Houston, via ESPN, Green said that the Warriors were "pissed off" about the Game 4 result earlier in the week, but he has confidence that the team will respond in the right matter now that they have their backs against the wall. "It's a heck of an accomplishment for our ball club to [to win] without our All Star forward for basically two games". The guy is a phenomenal player and competitor, and pretty much willed his team the last two games. I'm sure there are some shots he'd like to have back. He would make a successful return to the game, but finished with only 10 points on a salty 4-for-13 shooting from the field in 39 minutes of action. Don't try to get it all back with one shot.

Houston must keep the run relatively short - 11-0, 15-3 - and not lose their heads, just keep playing their game.

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