Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Dogged Paul leads Rockets into West finals

Dogged Paul leads Rockets into West finals

"I'll continue to get better, continue to get my timing right, continue to get back to the normal rotation, the normal minutes I'm out there playing and hopefully won't look back".

Despite Houston having the best record in the National Basketball Association and home-court advantage in the Western Conference Finals, Vegas thinks the Rockets are underdogs to the Golden State Warriors.

Or in October, when Houston won at Golden State on ring night.

This current Cavs team is very flawed, and you could argue they were outplayed in their seven-game, first-round series against the Indiana Pacers.

That team on the court Tuesday was not the team that played in the regular season and failed to win a closeout game in the first round of the playoffs - a team that was pillaged by injury, mental fatigue, and downright disinterest.

"For us it was just. they were in the way", Paul said.

The Golden State Warriors have been the NBA's juggernaut over the past three seasons. The team has been open in saying that they built their team to challenge the Warriors and now they'll get their chance.

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So far, instead, the Warriors have found a way to defend both styles, preferring to run with the fast-paced, push-the-tempo Pelicans while dealing with daunting big man Anthony Davis and the imposing load he is in the middle.

Australian Joe Ingles did not break out with a point-scoring spree as the Jazz hoped, scoring 12 points including just two three-pointers from six attempts.

The Warriors came out of halftime with a 10-0 run over the opening 1:54, forcing two Pelicans timeouts and taking control for the rest of the game. Thompson did most of his damage in the first quarter when he had 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting. It don't matter to us who we play. You can't take that away from them. "I don't care what you say, if he has that look in his eyes every single night, he's a problem". "Should that surprise me?" What was less certain: how well Curry would make progress in his fourth game since returning from a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee that sidelined him for 4 ½ weeks.

"Hey, you gotta play the game now", Green said. In 38 minutes on the floor, the 33-year-old point guard established a monster performance and led the Rockets with a career-playoff-high 41 points, together with 10 assists and seven rebounds on 59.1 percent shooting from the field and 80 percent from beyond the arc.

He was 32 for 67 with 15 3s in the series.

"We're going to need some contributions from our bench", Kerr said. It was a formula built to stop Golden State, but one that also took care of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Jazz in five games each.

Coming out of the locker rooms, the Warriors erupted, forcing Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry to use up three timeouts in a course of four minutes to start the second half. He's the first player in playoff history to have at least 40 points and 10 assists without a turnover since turnovers became an official statistic in 1977-78, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

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