For the second consecutive season and the fourth time in five years, the Golden State Warriors have eliminated the Houston Rockets from the NBA Playoffs.
Thanks to the shooting of Klay Thompson (7-13 3FG) and a big second half from Stephen Curry (33 points), the Warriors earned a five-point Game 6 win to advance to the Western Conference Finals for a fifth consecutive year.
Golden State now awaits the winner of Game 7 between the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers
Here are some takeaways from the Warriors' series-clinching win.
Curry heats up in the clutch
Steph Curry stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park in Game 5 when Kevin Durant went down.
Many expected him to continue and carry that form over into Game 6 in Houston, but the two-time MVP came out of the gate cold. Foul trouble in the first half along with tough Houston defence saw Curry enter the main break with zero points to his name.
But it was a tale of two halves as Curry came out scorching in the second half, mainly in the fourth quarter when the game was up for grabs. Curry got his game going with a few layups and floaters and then proceeded to hit dagger after dagger, dropping 23 points in the quarter.
:sweat_drops::sweat_drops::sweat_drops:- The Crossover (@TheCrossover) May 11, 2019
(via @warriors) pic.twitter.com/mqZLGVRMty
Curry ended the game with 33 points on 9-for-20 shooting, going 4-for-11 from three and knocking down a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line. With all of his points coming in the second half, he set a new postseason career-high point for points in the second half.
With a banged-up left hand, Curry showed he can light up in the blink of an eye and steal a key win even when he's had an incredibly rough start.
Game 6 Klay
In Game 6 of the 2016 Western Conference Finals, Klay Thompson sank an NBA-record 11 3-pointers. In Game 6 of the 2018 Western Conference Finals, Klay Thompson sank nine 3-pointers.
In Game 6 of this year's Western Conference Semis, Thompson sank seven of his 13 3-point attempts - including a late-game dagger - to finish with 27 points.
big time bucket 💦 pic.twitter.com/yaWkGiw2RL- Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 11, 2019
Thompson set the tone early on, scoring 21 points in the first half after shooting 5-for-9 from beyond the arc. His first-half performance was especially important considering Stephen Curry was held scoreless and the rest of the team shot 2-for-9 from beyond the arc
With Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins sidelined and Curry having an uncharacteristically poor night, Thompson did exactly what was needed to keep Golden State in the game as it entered the half knotted up at 57.
Had it not been for Thompson's first-half exploits, the Warriors deficit might have been far too large to overcome. Often the forgotten one, it's moments like these where we're reminded just how good - and valuable - Thompson is to this team.
It just so happens to occur in Game 6s.
Fouls, fouls, fouls
Everything was on the line in a gruelling Game 6 battle and both teams threw everything they had at one another.
The hot action, however, was met with plenty of whistles with big names players on both sides finding themselves in foul trouble.
Steph Curry picked up an early two fouls in the opening quarter and found his way to the bench while Draymond Green picked up his fourth midway through the third. For the Rockets it was big man Clint Capela who struggled with foul trouble as he picked up his fourth in the third.
A total of 30 fouls were called throughout the contest as the two teams continued to trade barbs.
As the Warriors enter the Western Conference Finals with the injured Kevin Durant's status remaining uncertain, this team must look to limit its fouling because the rotation has become limited.