After managing to even the series in Game 5, the Rockets inflicted upon the Warriors their first home-playoff loss since Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. However, the Warriors and Cavaliers still have to be considered the favorites. "I'm just missing shots, but we're winning". Kevin Durant's decline in this department has been the most stark, as he is averaging just two assists per game after a regular season in which his 5.4 mark was just a tenth away from matching his career high. Who actually played some pretty good defense? Opposing role players went off from deep. Either way, he's going to make plays. Along with the playoff-seasoned Ariza, rebound-gobbling P.J. Tucker and Clint Capela and former Indiana Hoosier guard Eric Gordon, they pressed the perimeter on defense, muscled the Warriors toward the boundaries, crowded their space and made them uncomfortable.
It seems like a game for a team with something to prove. Those Celtics won just the one title, beating the Lakers in 2008. When Thompson scored through a foul on the first possession of the second half, the Warriors captured their first lead of the game at 47-45.
Gordon has played a big role. Only a few non-superteams have reached the pinnacle in the last 10 years: the Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks in 2011, and the San Antonio Spurs in 2014. I hate to see Kevin Love last night, Kyrie (Irving). They can't complain of being exhausted and, even without Andre Iguodala, should still carve a path to the NBA Finals at the expense of Houston. Golden State felt the absence of injured small forward Andre Iguedola, whose availability for Game Five will be a "game-time decision", according to Golden State Coach Steve Kerr.
They are trying to avoid falling behind 3-2 in the best-of-seven series in a game that will live stream from Toyota Center in Houston on Thursday.
Their Eastern Conference final is also tied at three games apiece. Golden State had 18 turnovers.
The Rockets will once again be looking to disrupt the Warriors' rhythm tonight. Irving, reportedly exhausted of being seen as second fiddle to LeBron, asked for and was granted a trade in the offseason. Then, in the third quarter, he hit all seven field goal attempts, a mix of jumpers as well as lay-ups.
LeBron is more vulnerable to miss the final series of the year now than he has been in nearly a decade.
On top of coughing up such an important game, the Warriors' NBA-record postseason winning streak at home was snapped at 16 games.
"The blind faith, and I say that complimentary, the blind faith they have in him is incredible", he said.
While Thompson participated in all of morning shootaround, Iguodala participated in select portions of it. Iguodala participated in shooting drills at the end of morning shootaround, while Thompson watched game footage with Warriors assistant coach Chris DeMarco.
The last thing the Celtics want is to face James in a do-or-die Game 7.
It's always possible that either the Celtics or Rockets could pull off an upset.
"We've got a lot of tough guys on our team, but I think they all will tell you Baynes is one of the toughest we've all been around".