But their youth showed on Sunday night, when they withered under the spotlight of a decisive Game 7. Considering he is averaging 34 points, 9.2 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game these playoffs, that at least feels possible. At the most critical point of the season, Harden no longer had Paul to share the playmaking or the pressure burden that the Rockets had purposefully split between them all season, hoping to keep both fresh and impactful throughout a long playoff run.
According to Marc Spears of The Undefeated, Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni says the series goes a bit differently if Paul is available for one last game, but at the same time, Warriors coach Steve Kerr says with Iguodala on the court, the Paul injury would have never come into play. It took seven games in the first round against in and they needed a superhuman effort from LeBron James against Boston in the conference finals, winning four of the final five games of the series to punch a ticket to the Finals.
"We're all focused on winning a championship", Lue said Tuesday before the team flew to California. He wandered over to the right wing, realized he wasn't where he was supposed to be, stood there confused for a few seconds and then Kerr, seven game seconds after burning one timeout, burned another, scolding Curry for his. Houston did not help themselves with atrocious perimeter shooting; in Game 7, the Rockets missed an astounding 27 straight three-point field goals.
Rockets ace James Harden, who finished with 32 points, said his team's second-half performances in Games 6 and 7 had decided the fate of the series.
On Monday morning, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Iguodala was having a hard time being sidelined deep into the playoffs.
Golden State won two of the three finals meetings and is heavily favored to take this one.
Houston had overcome Golden State's Mario Star-like third period earlier in the series during Game 4.
After looking sloppy and discombobulated in the first half, the Warriors morphed back into one of the most explosive offenses in National Basketball Association history during the third quarter.
Thompson was clear that the mistakes he made before halftime on Monday night won't happen again. "The great quote from the great Doc Rivers is you always want to go into the Game 7 with the best player, and we have the best player on our team going into a Game 7". This year will mark Durant's second trip to the Finals with the Warriors.
"I'm the leader of this team, and I'm going to give what I've got".
"All those hurdles and obstacles, we got over them, so it's an unbelievable feeling".
Boston Celtics: Game 7 will be the Jayson Tatum show
He admitted to fatigue afterward, and then played all but two minutes in Game 6 despite a sore knee from a collision with Nance. James' offensive explosion took hold late in the first half as the Cavaliers took an 11-point advantage into the main break.