Dubs Advance To Western Conference Finals
Golden State Closes Out Series With 118-113 Victory
The Warriors held off the Houston Rockets on Friday night and are set to make their fifth-straight Western Conference Finals appearance.
The Warriors are set to make their fifth-straight Western Conference Finals appearance after eliminating the Houston Rockets from the playoffs, joining the Los Angeles Lakers (eight straight from 1982-1989) as the only teams to make five consecutive appearances in the series.
It was another down-to-the-wire contest between the two teams. It was the first playoff series in NBA history in which all games were decided in six points or less. For a moment it looked as though the Rockets had enough fire power to force a Game 7, but the Dubs weren’t about to let that happen.
|Curry - 33||Green - 10||Green - 7|
|Thompson - 27||Curry / Looney - 5||Curry - 4|
|Iguodala - 17||Bogut - 3||Iguodala / Cook - 3|
|Harden - 35||Paul - 11||Paul - 6|
|Paul - 27||Capela - 10||Harden - 5|
|Tucker - 15||Harden - 8||Gordon - 4|
Stephen Curry, who went scoreless in the first half, found his groove in the final minutes to give the Dubs the edge they needed. He notched a team-high 33 points — all of those points came in the second half and 23 of them came in the fourth frame, both are playoff career highs for the two-time MVP. Knocking down dagger threes with his fellow Splash Brother in the final minutes of the contest, the squad was able to hold off Houston as the clock ran down.
With Kevin Durant out with a strained right calf, Andrew Bogut got the start. The Dubs talked about that ‘next man up’ mentality in the leadup to the game, and the squad definitely put strength in numbers on display. Quinn Cook and Jordan Bell came off the bench and provided meaningful minutes in the first half. Bell in particular played tremendous help defense on James Harden drives, blocking two shots, one of which resulted in him flushing home a dunk off a lob pass that completed an 8-0 run for the Dubs.
Down one of their best shooters heading into the matchup, the Warriors needed to step it up not only on the defensive end, but in scoring; queue Klay Thompson. It took a few minutes for him to find a rhythm. However, once he did nobody was stopping him. Thompson dropped 21 first half points and went 5-9 from beyond the arc.
Eleven Warriors players saw action in the first half, and behind Thompson’s hot start and 20 points from the Dubs’ reserves, the Warriors went into the break tied with Houston, 57-57.
“I loved the first half,” Head Coach Steve Kerr said following the game. “We competed like crazy and we had key contributions off the bench.”
The Dubs also saw another impactful game from Kevon Looney. The big man stepped up as Durant exited the court earlier in the week, and he rode that momentum into Game 6. In what wound up being another close contest Looney’s 14 points (6-8 FG) were huge for the Dubs, but he also managed to grab five rebounds — four of those came off the offensive glass, giving his teammates necessary extra possessions.
Veteran guard Andre Iguodala had one of his best games of the season on Friday night. He connected on a playoff-high tying 5 three-pointers and has now made 104 during his Warriors postseason career. “That game was probably not winnable without Andre’s contributions,” Kerr said. “Andre just does so much for us at both ends of the floor … (He’s) an incredible basketball player.”
More notable moments from the matchup:
- Golden State has won at least one road game in 21 consecutive playoff series, extending its own NBA record.
- The Dubs have defeated the Rockets in all four playoff series between the teams. Overall, Golden State is 16-7 vs. Houston in the postseason.
- Golden State is 17-7 in playoff series closeout games dating back to the 2015 postseason, including 5-0 in the semifinals.
- The Warriors have won three-consecutive Game 6’s and are 6-1 overall in such games dating back to the 2015 playoffs.
- The last time the Warriors used the starting lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut was May 30, 2016, Game 7 vs. Oklahoma City in the Western Conference Finals.
The Western Conference Finals begin Tuesday, May 14. Game 1, presented by Kaiser Permanente, tips off at 6:00 p.m. (Pacific) as the Dubs host the winner of the Portland-Denver series on Warriors Ground. Don’t miss a minute of the action, secure your seats now.
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