The Houston Rockets will try to extend their season on Friday, May 10 when they take on the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinal series. Tip off time is 9:00 p.m. EST at Toyota Center.
Warriors Won Game 5, But May Have Lost the Series
The Warriors held on to win Game 5 104-99, but the final score only tells half the story. The real intrigue occurred with 2:10 remaining in the third quarter when leading Scorer Kevin Durant came up limping after hitting a baseline jumper. The two-time Finals MVP was forced to exit the game, and has since been diagnosed with a strained right calf, putting his availability for the remainder of the playoffs in question.
The Warriors say Kevin Durant’s injury is a calf strain, but have not yet revealed the severity. Grade 1 calf strains usually ballpark 7-10 days for recovery. Grade 2 calf strains can be 4-6 weeks.
Remember though – #ImNotADoctor pic.twitter.com/QoekTZFkX4
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) May 9, 2019
KD’s absence paved the way for a vintage performance from Steph Curry, who exploded for 16 points with his All-Star teammate in the locker room. Klay Thompson also contributed to the win with a critical layup with 4.1 seconds remaining on the clock.
The Warriors now head to Houston with a chance to finish the series and advance to the Western Conference Finals for the fifth straight year.
Steph Curry before Kevin Durant’s injury: 9 PTS (4-14 FG, 1-8 3PT)
After: 16 PTS (5-9 FG, 2-3 3 PT)
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 9, 2019
Durant Has Been Ruled Out for Game 6
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has confirmed that Durant will be unavailable for Game 6. His availability for the remainder of the series – and indeed the playoffs – hinges on the result of his MRI.
Steve Kerr on Kevin Durant’s injury: “I was assured that it’s a calf strain and not the Achilles.” #NBAPlayoffs
— USA TODAY NBA (@usatodaynba) May 9, 2019
Golden State proved on Wednesday evening that it’s capable of winning a single game without KD, but losing him for an extended period would be a crushing blow. In addition to leading all players in postseason scoring, Durant is also pumping in 5.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.
Durant is capable of consistently creating his own shots when Golden State’s offense breaks down, and he’s an underrated defender whose athleticism and length have made life miserable for the Rockets’ wings.
“Kevin Durant’s injury could be a blessing in disguise. Steph and Klay have to seize this opportunity to find their rhythm.” @PRandleIII after the @warriors win Game 5 🏀#NBAPlayoffs #NBATwitter pic.twitter.com/AhsC0wlu0j
— Droppin’ Dimes (@Droppin_Dimes1) May 9, 2019
Curry and Thompson are more than capable of picking up some of the offensive slack, but Durant’s absence will expose the club’s precarious lack of depth.
Shump Came On Strong
Durant’s injury obscured the fact that the Rockets got a big contribution off the bench from Iman Shumpert. The well-traveled 3-and-D specialist finished with 11 points on 3-6 shooting from deep. Expect him to have a bigger role in Game 6 as fellow reserve Danuel House continues to deal with an inflamed right toe.
ICYMI @imanshumpert had nothing to do w/ Kevin Durant’s (@KDTrey5) injury. At the time he wasn’t certain: “I was hoping I didn’t stand under him when he shot his shot.I didn’t feel him step on my foot.Even in times of war u don’t want to hurt another guy..Off the court,great guy” pic.twitter.com/ZulHHMM45o
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) May 9, 2019
Houston Rockets vs Golden State Warriors Regular Season Statistical Comparison
|114.8 (2nd)||Offensive Rating||114.9 (1st)|
|113.9 (11th)||Points||117.7 (2nd)|
|21.2 (28th)||Assists||29.4 (1st)|
|44.9 (24th)||Field-Goal Percentage||49.1 (1st)|
|35.6 (10th)||Three-Point Percentage||38.5 (3rd)|
|+4.8 (5th)||Plus/Minus||+6.5 (2nd)|
|110.1 (18th)||Defensive Rating||108.5 (11th)|
|109.1 (10th)||Points||111.2 (16th)|
|46.6 (19th)||Field-Goal Percentage||44.4 (3rd)|
|34.0 (2nd)||Three-Point Percentage||34.7 (11th)|
|51.8 (28th)||Points In The Paint||47.1 (7th)|
Rockets Favored to Win by 6
Sportsbooks are believers in these high-powered offenses, as they’ve set the game total at a healthy 212, with the Rockets opening as 6.0-point favorites. Golden State is 39-53-1 against the spread this year and 45-48-0 over/under, compared to 47-42-3 ATS and 45-47-0 over/under for Houston.