By Chad Cooper
This one may linger, though there isn’t much time to pout. News broke early Thursday that Kevin Durant would not play in Game 6 on Friday after going down with a right calf strain late in the 3rd Quarter.
With that said, the betting line for Friday’s game in Houston is now Rockets -7.5 points and GSW is +275 on the money line. That’s insane because when KD went out in Game 5, the Warriors got stronger. Remember when Chris Paul went down in Game 5 last year after hitting the game winner?
The Rockets overcame a nightmare start in Game 5. Down as much as 20 points, the Good Guys roared back like a fighter and didn’t fold like the Boston Celtics have.
Durant went down with 2 minutes left in the 3rd, but instead of the Rockets taking advantage, something happened to Steph Curry. Curry had just 9 points when KD limped off then powered up like a cheat code in NBA Jamz and finished with 25.
The problem? There were several…
Chris Paul has not been Chris Paul-like. The veteran was 3-14 from the field with 11 points, which included 0-6 from 3-point range. The Warriors locked him up and he failed to get any separation.
James Harden got mysteriously shy in the 4th. The final 7 minutes of the game Harden wouldn’t shoot and went he did, it was a layup with 18 seconds left in the game. MVP had just 5 points in the 4th.
Though the rebounds were nearly identical (42-39 in favor of GSW), Clint Capela, who got a $90 million contract last year, could not grab a late rebound that allowed the Warriors to keep possessions alive. Back breaker. Oh, he was also 1-8.
Eric Gordon was 1-9 from the floor.
Austin Rivers has been so good in Games 2-4, but went 0-4 from downtown in Game 5.
Charles Barkley said, “The Warriors have no chance of winning without Kevin Durant. This series or any other series.” Golden State did not have KD on their roster when they won it in 2015, Chuck.
Only 24 points have separated the two teams through 5 games. Neither team has won on the road. Despite another opportunity missed, the Rockets should feel good about the must-win Game 6 on Friday night at the Toyota Center. Expect plenty of 3-point attempts, but if the Rockets are to win and force a Game 7, THEY HAVE TO REBOUND.