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Warriors vs Rockets Game 5: Will Iggy Return in Time to Save Golden State?

Andre Iguodala shoots a free throw
The Rockets took advantage of Andre Iguodala's absence in Game 4. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License]
  • The Western Conference Finals head back to Houston with the Warriors and Rockets tied at two game apiece
  • Can the Rockets continue to play lockdown defense for the second game in a row?
  • Will Andre Iguodala return in time to help the Warriors get back on track?

Houston, we have a series.

The Rockets evened their best-of-seven series with the Warriors at two games apiece on Tuesday night after downing Golden State 95-92 in Oakland. It was their most complete game yet, and it came just two days after suffering a historic 41-point defeat in Game 3.

The Rockets will try to build on that momentum on Thursday, May 24th when they host the Warriors at the Toyota Center.

Houston made headlines this season with its prodigious offense, but it won Game 4 with its gritty defense. The Rockets forced 16 turnovers and limited the Warriors to 12 points in the game’s final 12 minutes. PJ Tucker led the charge with 16 rebounds, and James Harden chipped in with three steals and two blocks to go along with his game-high 30 points.

Houston never gave up despite being down by as many as ten points in the third quarter, and showed the kind of heart and hustle that were sorely missing in their Game 3 blowout. We’re about to find out if they can maintain their balls-to-the-wall approach and advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1995.

Warriors vs Rockets Team Playoff Stats



110.1 Offensive Rating 109.0
110.4 Points 107.7
26.2 Assists 19.9
47.1 Field-Goal Percentage 44.5
33.8 Three-Point Percentage 35.1
+8.3 Plus/Minus +4.6



100.6 Defensive Rating 105.3
102.1 Points 103.1
43.3 Field-Goal Percentage 46.3
32.9 Three-Point Percentage 37.9
46.1 Points In The Paint 48.4

Head-to-Head Results

Date Location Score Winner
May 22 (Game 4 WCF) GS 95-92 HOU
May 20 (Game 3 WCF) GS 126-85 GS
May 16 (Game 2 WCF) HOU 127-105 HOU
May 14 (Game 1 WCF) HOU 119-106 GS
Jan. 20 HOU 116-108 HOU
Jan. 4 HOU 124-114 GS
Oct. 17 GS 122-121 HOU

Notable Injuries and Absences

Rockets Warriors
No injuries Andre Iguodala (knee): QUESTIONABLE

 Game 4 Pick: Warriors (112-108)

You would think that a team with four All-Stars wouldn’t need any extra help, but the Warriors showed just how much they missed Andre Iguodala on Tuesday night. The 2015 Finals MVP is the glue that binds together all of Golden State’s best line-ups thanks to his unselfishness, athleticism and preternatural feel for the game. He understands ebb and flow better than nearly any other active player and has a gift for putting all of his teammates in a position to succeed. In the words of Steve Kerr, “He’s an organizer. He’s a guy who settles us down. He continuously makes the right play.”

Iguodala has the length and speed to guard four different positions and can seamlessly cover for Steph Curry’s many miscues and gambles.

He’s also one hell of a defender. Iguodala has the length and speed to guard four different positions and can seamlessly cover for Steph Curry’s many miscues and gambles. If he’s available on Thursday night, as is expected, than the Warriors will have all the piecse they need to defeat the Rockets and reclaim control of this series.

Yes, Igoudala is that important, and the fate of Game 5 rests on his shoulders.

Team Trends

Golden State is 34-15 SU on the road Houston is 40-9 SU at home
Golden State is 2-6 SU as an underdog Houston is 72-15 SU as a favorite
Golden State is 22-5 SU after a loss Houston is 59-15 SU after a win
Golden State is 40-55-1 ATS this season (42.1%) Houston is 49-46-1 ATS this season (51.6%)
Golden State is 21-26 ATS on the road Houston is 21-27-1 ATS at home

See the latest odds for every game during the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

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Ryan currently serves as an Editor and resident Lead NBA and MLB Writer for SBD. He has authored his own column for both Fox Sports and AskMen, and has created campaigns for the WWE, the NHL, and the NFL. Ryan's critically acclaimed stories have been published in 20 books.