Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors

Three takeaways from Rockets' Game 5 win over Warriors

chris-paul-david-west-052418-ftr
Chris Paul shoots a 3-pointer over David West (Getty Images)

The Houston Rockets made it back-to-back wins after escaping from a scrappy affair to take the 3-2 series lead following their 98-94 victory in Game 5 over the Golden State Warriors.

Eric Gordon led the way off the bench with 24 points, while Clint Capela finished with a double-double of 12 points and 14 rebounds.

With the Warriors now on the brink of elimination, here are three takeaways from Game 5:

Gordon's bench impact

Mike D'Antoni has shortened his rotation down to only eight players and despite the off shooting night of James Harden, the Rockets still walked away with the victory.

Eric Gordon was a key reason why they were able to push the Warriors to the brink of elimination with another big game off of the pine.

Despite going 3-10 from beyond the arc, Gordon went 9-10 from the free throw line and knocked down a monster triple as the game went down to the wire.

He played 36 minutes off of the bench and came up with the critical final steal when Draymond Green fumbled the ball on one of the Warriors' final possessions.

Warriors depth goes missing

Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 74 points while Draymond Green added 12 points and 15 rebounds. Unfortunately, beyond the Big 4, the Warriors came up empty.

Of their entire bench, along with the starting Kevin Looney, the rest of the Warriors only put eight points on the scoreboard and struggled to have any impact on the outcome of the game.

Backup guard Quinn Cook missed a wide open 3-point attempt as Chris Paul lay on the court at the other end of the floor, a shot that would have put the Warriors up by two with under 40 seconds to play.

Without Andre Iguodala in the starting lineup, the Warriors have struggled in their flexibility on both ends of the floor and the Rockets have continued to take advantage. If the bench can't figure out a way to have an impact, the Warriors may miss out on a fourth straight trip to the NBA Finals.

Point god comes up clutch

Chris Paul is playing in his first ever Western Conference Finals and the situation hasn't got the better of him as he continues to show why he's one of the best floor leaders in the entire NBA.

Despite combining to shoot 11-40 with his backcourt running mate in James Harden, Paul ended with 20 points, six assists and seven rebounds to help the Rockets claim victory.

Paul hit some huge shots down the stretch with his double pump three over David West leaving the fans in attendance stunned.

His moment of the game came when he drilled a shot over Stephen Curry as the buzzer sounded and as the two ran down the floor, Paul stole Curry's patented shimmy move and did it right in his face.

It's not all good news for the Rockets however as Paul went down inside the final minute after pulling up short on a drive into the lane and came up clutching his right hamstring.

Paul has been plagued by hamstring issues this season and missed 20 games, although the injured leg was his left not the right one he's succumbed to on Friday.

If he's not able to go for the remainder of the series the Rockets will have their backs firmly against the wall without their floor general leading the way.

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