The Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors faced off last night in order to determine who would come away from Game 5 just one victory shy of reaching the NBA Finals. Turns out, home-court advantage prevailed as the Rockets pulled out yet another gutsy win over their highly talented counterparts.
It was all you’d expect from a Game 5 series deadlocked at 2-2 with all to play for.
Both teams struggled offensively on the evening, unable to crack the 100-point barrier, but the Rockets dug out another pulsating victory in front of their home faithful. They were again immense on the defensive end, as the Warriors and their superstars struggled to generate consistent offense down the stretch.
In a contest that saw Rockets main man James Harden shoot an utterly abysmal 0-for-11 from 3-point range, the game would have been out of reach if it wasn’t for the heroics of running partner Chris Paul, who had a scintillating second half and carried the Rockets to a 3-2 series advantage. Paul did it all, carrying the scoring load all by himself.
It was definitely what they needed, as the Warriors leaned on their championship experience by storming back into the contest on the road.
Despite being one step closer to the NBA’s biggest stage, the Rockets' dramatic win was soured after Paul went down with what looked like a serious hamstring injury in the dying moments of the game. After the unfortunate sequence, Paul was forced to watch the final critical possessions from the sidelines with ice wrapped around the affected area.
After Game 5, Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni gave some insight into where Paul was at mentality after going down.
Mike D'Antoni on Chris Paul: "His spirits aren't great. He wanted to be out there. He's worried and all that. That's normal." pic.twitter.com/mv0iMcHpqc
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) May 25, 2018
It was a monumental moment in this series, as the Rockets’ fate could rest on the severity of Paul’s injury. With him, they look as though they’re headed to the NBA Finals, without him, they may hand this series right over to the Warriors even with a potential Game 7 on their home floor. It’s that significant.
Paul did offer a glimmer of hope for Rockets fans claiming he'll be alright for Game 6, but we will only know the full severity of his injury once he is evaluated later on today.