NBA Playoff results: May 11, 2019
1. Golden State Warriors (118) – 4. Houston Rockets (113)
What happened in the Playoffs today:
1. Warriors eliminate the Rockets… again
The Rockets had the Warriors on the ropes.
Golden State was playing without Kevin Durant who strained his calf in Game 5. Golden State might as well have been playing without Steph Curry. The Warriors superstar only took five shots in the first half and missed all of them. This was the most vulnerable that the Warriors have been in a long time.
Houston had a great shot at tying the series, sending it to a Game 7. They just couldn’t find the haymaker in the final two periods. Because the Rockets left an opening, the defending champions punched back.
Klay Thompson kept the Warriors alive in the first half with Curry misfiring. He scored 21 of his 27 points in the first half, finishing with seven threes in the game. Thompson’s outside hits kept the Rockets from pulling away, keeping the game tight and in the Warriors’ favor.
With less than a minute left in the game, it was Thompson that nailed one of the daggers that buried the Rockets. Thompson hit a three-pointer over Chris Paul and PJ Tucker that gave the Warriors a six-point lead with 36 seconds left in the game.
It was the Warriors that found their finishing punch. With the game on the line, Golden State leaned on Curry. After going scoreless in the first half, Curry exploded for 33 points in the second half.
Take a look at these numbers.
Steph Curry 2nd Half Game 6:
— SBR Sports Picks (@SBRSportsPicks) May 11, 2019
This was one of those kind of stretches that everyone was missing from Curry in the Playoffs. His scoring binge was even more amazing because he looked like a totally different player in the first two periods.
Curry broke his scoring drought with a layup at the 9:50 mark of the third period. He nailed his first three-pointer of the game at the 2:15 mark of the same quarter. All that was kindling to the roaring fire he would light in the fourth period.
The Warriors superstar exploded for 23 points in the fourth period. But he saved the best for last, going supernova in the final four minutes of the game.
Stephen Curry's Game 6 performance should go down as one of the finest of his career and silence any remaining critics.
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) May 11, 2019
Up by just two near the final three minutes of the game, Curry took a handoff from from Draymond Green and hit a long three to give the Warriors a five-point lead. The Warriors kept fighting and Curry kept hitting daggers.
After James Harden cut the Warriors advantage to just two, Curry drove past Chris Paul for a layup to put Golden State up by four. After Paul cut the lead down to just two, Curry came right back on the other end with a dribbling show and three-point dagger to increase the advantage to five.
This game was straight out of 2015 when the Warriors won the NBA Championship with just Curry and Thompson. There was no Durant back then, so the team relied on the otherworldly shooting of Thompson and Curry. With Durant still out or even less than 100% when he returns, the Warriors will need more from the Splash Brothers to be able to defend their championship.
Photo from Getty Images