Facing elimination, Warriors undaunted
HOUSTON — If the Golden State Warriors are worried as they head into Game 6 of the Western Conference finals on the brink of elimination, they aren’t showing it.
“We have a chance to tie the series at home. That’s a pretty good position to be in,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ve got to win two basketball games and we’ve done that an awful lot, so we’re very confident.”
The defending champions trail Houston 3-2 in the best-of-seven series after consecutive wins by the Rockets, capped by Thursday night’s 98-94 victory . Now the series shifts to Oracle Arena, a place where the Warriors have lost just one time in their last 17 playoff games.
Stephen Curry said the Warriors are encouraged despite falling behind in the series because they believe both games could have gone their way and that a few simple corrections will get them back on track.
“We have an opportunity to re-establish ourselves at home, get a big win, keep ourselves alive, and then roll the dice into Game 7,” Curry said. “Not all is lost.”
Houston’s big win in Game 5 was tempered by a hamstring injury to star Chris Paul which will keep him out of tonight’s game. It’s a major blow for a team which is looking to reach the NBA Finals for the first time in more than two decades.
The Rockets believe they can absorb this loss and don’t seem daunted by the setback, noting that they found ways to win in the regular season in many games where Paul sat out with injuries.
“I don’t have a doubt,” Rockets coach D’Antoni said. “They see the challenge … whether CP’s there or not, it’s a heck of a challenge, and they’re up to it. They’re looking forward to it.”
James Harden, who has struggled offensively in the last two games and went 0 for 11 on 3s in Game 5, rolled his eyes when asked if Paul’s injury puts more pressure on him.
“Pressure for what? It’s Game 6 of the Western Conference finals,” he said. “There is pressure on everybody.”