4
| Sports |

Warriors Beat Rockets, but Lose Durant: 4 Winners, 4 Losers

Kevin Durant grabs the back of his leg in the third quarter of game five in what the Warriors are calling a calf strain.EXPAND
Kevin Durant grabs the back of his leg in the third quarter of game five in what the Warriors are calling a calf strain.
Screenshot
^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

The Rockets missed a golden opportunity on the road in game five of the best of seven Western Conference semifinals on Wednesday. The Warriors were down both Kevin Durant and Draymond Green in the fourth quarter and the Rockets were unable to get a win in Oakland, losing 101-97 and finding themselves on the brink of elimination.

The series is far from over and the status of Durant, who suffered a non-contact calf injury, will be a major factor, but this was certainly a game that was the Rockets for the taking, especially after coming all the way back from more than 20 down in the first half. They return to Houston for game six on Friday.

Winners

Rockets Third Quarter

Despite going down by as much as 21 in the first half, the Rockets had a furious comeback in the third quarter to get back in the game, outscoring the Warriors 29 to 15. Unfortunately...

Warriors Fourth Quarter

...the Rockets could not sustain that momentum and the Warriors showed a very gutsy effort out dueling the Rockets in the final period mostly on hustle points, grabbing loose balls and offensive rebounds every time they needed it. The Rockets just could not close them out and James Harden only managed three points in the quarter.

Splash Brothers

Klay Thompson and Steph Curry hadn't had a good series until game five. The pair combined for 52 points and they needed every one of them.

Offensive Rebounding

One of the critical deciding factors in this series has been offensive rebounding. Whichever team wins that battle wins the game and that was the Warriors on Wednesday. The Rockets have been a poor rebounding team all season, but to not get key rebounds down the stretch with both Kevin Durant and Draymond Green out, it's nearly inexcusable.

Losers

Road Teams Again

Once more, the road team was unable to close out a game. These two teams are so evenly matched, it's not a surprise that the home team has gotten the edge, but the Rockets will have to figure out a way to win in Oakland if they want to win this series. But first, they have to win again in Houston.

Draymond Green Because Always

Is there any more annoying player in the league than Green? The answer is no.

Inability to Close

After regaining the lead, the Rockets seemed tentative in the fourth quarter, Harden went quiet and they were unable to secure a loose ball despite the Warriors missing two of their starters. With the chance to win and close out at home, the Rockets fizzled at the time they needed to be at their best.

Game Five Injuries

In what was arguably the turning point in last year's Western Conference Finals between Golden State and Houston, Chris Paul pulled a hamstring in game five and was unable to return in the series. The Rockets lost in seven games. This year, it was Durant who suffered a lower leg injury in the third quarter. Much like last year, the team with the injury still managed to win game five, but what is to come next will depend on Durant's status in games six and seven.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.