The Houston Rockets are back in the series after securing a 112-108 win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 to level the series at 2-2.
Back on their home floor, the Rockets have lifted their intensity, scrapping for loose balls, crashing the offensive glass and pressuring the Warriors on defence, embracing the dogfight against the defending champs.
"You got two teams that are battling, every possession is a fight," James Harden said post-game.
"Defensively, we're not trying to make mistakes, they're not trying to make mistakes, they're not trying to give up threes, we're not trying to give up threes, it's every possession, it's whoever can round up the most stops in a row and offensively get going.
"Like I think in that third quarter we did a really good job of getting stops and pushing the lead up to 17, but then in the fourth, we couldn't really score and they had 24 points, they couldn't really score, that's what it's about."
"Every possession is a fight."- NBA TV (@NBATV) May 7, 2019
- James Harden#NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/IOUz7O78xt
Through four games, there's barely anything separating the two teams, with the Warriors outscoring the Rockets by just a single point - 448-447.
In a series this close, those 50/50 balls, box outs and extra possessions become even more valuable and over the past two games, PJ Tucker has proven to be that difference maker for Houston, again coming up with some timely plays down the stretch in Game 4, something he says they need to replicate away from their home floor
"We gotta be better on the road, we gotta be more physical, we gotta impose our will more," Tucker said post-game.
"The first two games wasn't us, we had chances to win those games, but we didn't play our brand of. basketball for the whole game. We stepped it up at home and we played ok and got some wins, but we gotta be better, we gotta be more aggressive, even when they score we gotta get the ball out quicker and get it down court faster and play fast the entire game, so we gotta pick it up."