Golden State saved their season and forced a Game 7.
The Golden State Warriors don’t lose consecutive playoff games that often. After dropping two games to the Houston Rockets, they bounced back for a TK-TK win during Game 6 on Saturday, tying the series and setting up an ultimate win-or-go-home matchup on Monday night.
Golden State, for their part, looked infinitely better than they had the past two outings, where they had scored just 92 and 94 points. The Warriors finished the season with the best offense — Houston was second by a fraction of a point — but the Rockets bogged them down with a incessant switching defense that took them out of their preferred “beautiful game” featuring loads of off-ball movement.
Much of that was back in Game 6, and the rest can be explained by Golden State’s sheer, overwhelming talent. In a game where Chris Paul was absent, robbing Houston of even more star power, it was the Warriors’ four All-Stars who shined, particularly Klay Thompson and his 35-point game. Thompson’s scoring came with 9-of-14 shooting behind the arc, while Stephen Curry chipped in five more triples, finishing with 29 points himself.
Kevin Durant still wasn’t his best self — 6-of-17 shooting from the floor — but still added 23 points. Draymond Green had his usual non-scoring contributions: just four points, but 10 rebounds, nine assists, four steals, and five blocks. That’s a ridiculous line, mind you. No one has ever recorded those numbers in a postseason game, dating back to 1963, and there are only four such regular season games where a player recorded 10/9/5/4.
The other signature skill for the Warriors was their third quarter, where they took a 10-point deficit and turned it into a lead with speed thanks to a 33-16 advantage in the frame. That’s classic Warriors stuff — they’ve been doing it all postseason.
Houston isn’t done, by any means. They dominated the regular season specifically so they could play at their home Toyota Center if they found themselves in this very situation, facing Golden State in the Western Conference Finals in a Game 7. Everyone had a feeling we might end up here. Hopefully, Paul can return, even if he’s not totally himself. Of course, the Warriors might see Andre Iguodala come back, too. Anything can happen in 48 minutes, and the Rockets have repeatedly proved they can beat Golden State, and won’t be spooked.
But the Warriors finally looked like the Warriors again in Game 6, after looking nothing like the Warriors for the 96 minutes before this. Now they just have to keep that up for one more outing, and they’ll be Finals bound yet again.