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NBA Game Previews for May 24, 2018
May 24, 2018 at 9:00 PM ET

Rockets Return Home, Host Warriors In Game 5 Of Western Conference Finals

By Juan Pablo Aravena  

The Houston Rockets will host the Golden State Warriors at Toyota Center on Thursday in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. The series is tied 2-2. Many believed the Rockets were almost dead following a dismal performance in Game 3 of the series, but they turned things around and delivered an impressive performance in Game 4 that aside from evening things up, it also ended Golden State's streak of 16 consecutive wins at home. Now, Mike D'Antoni men get back to the venue where they won 34 of 41 regular season games, and they will need to repeat some of the things they already evidenced in Game 4 - such as the gritty defense and the timely execution on the offensive end of the court - to have any chance of keeping their title chances alive. James Harden had an impressive 30-point performance in Game 4, and all eyes on the world will be on him once again, as the Rockets will try to take another step towards the NBA Finals. The Warriors seemed to be clicking in all cylinders after a dominant performance in Game 3, but came back crashing down to earth in Game 4 as they couldn't keep up with Houston's pace down the stretch. In fact, head coach Steve Kerr said the team "ran out of gas" in the fourth quarter, period where they scored just 12 points and ended giving away the game. To make things even more complicated, there is a chance the reigning NBA champions won't have two of their starters for this pivotal game, as both Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala are doubtful and their presence will be decided closer to tip-off time. With both players potentially being sidelined, then both Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry would need to step up on both ends of the court. If they are not at their best, then Golden State could head down 2-3 in the series back to Oracle Arena this weekend.

Posted on May 24, 2018 at 1:48 AM ET