Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors

Rockets earn another gritty win over Warriors to take 3-2 series lead

rockets-warriors-recap-051418.jpg
Warriors vs. Rockets in Western Conference finals (NBA.com Illustration)

Houston earned its second-consecutive tough win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

Things were not pretty for the Rockets on the offensive end as they finished the game shooting 37.2 percent from the field and 30.2 percent from deep. James Harden (19 points), Chris Paul (20 points) and Eric Gordon (24 points) led Houston's scoring efforts, but combined to shoot 17-of-55 for the game. Harden failed to connect on any of his 11 3-point attempts.

After missing all seven of his shot attempts in the first half, Paul was 6-of-12 in the second. The nine-time All-Star hit a number of difficult and timely shots, but was sidelined for the game's closing moments with an apparent hamstring injury. Paul's status for Game 6 will be something to monitor.

The Warriors continue to miss the impact of Andre Iguodala. Inserting Kevon Looney into the starting lineup has been effective to open the game, but has been detrimental to the team's second unit. Golden State's bench scored just four points in the loss; Houston's two reserves combined to score 33.

Kevin Durant led all scorers with 29 points, while Klay Thompson added 23 points and Stephen Curry finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Draymond Green was relatively quiet, but finished with 12 points, 15 rebounds and four assists.

In a game where there were 16 lead changes and 10 ties, the Rockets' late-game execution proved to be the difference over the defending champions. For the game, Golden State committed 18 turnovers, including one on its final chance to tie the game. The ending of Game 4 was hard to top, but Game 5's furious finish was another to remember.

If you missed any of the action, check out the highlights from Game 5 below…

Warriors vs. Rockets: Score, highlights, updates

Game 5 box score | Play-by-play

Final: Rockets 98, Warriors 94

11:30 p.m ET - Houston is now one game away from the NBA Finals. Eric Gordon led the way for the Rockets with 24 points, while Chris Paul added 20 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. The Rockets won despite James Harden struggling all night; the All-Star guard was 5-of-21 from the field and 0-of-11 from beyond the arc and finished with 19 points.

Golden State was led by Kevin Durant's 29 points, 23 points from Klay Thompson and 22 points from Stephen Curry. The Warriors bench was outscored 33-4 despite playing five reserves while the Rockets played just two.

11:28 p.m. ET - Draymond Green stumbles and loses the ball in transition, Eric Gordon recovers and is fouled. Gordon connects on both free throws and the Rockets will take Game 5 98-94.

11:27 p.m. ET - A hobbled Chris Paul is sidelined as the Rockets lead 95-94.

Steph Curry attempts a floater which is no good. Trevor Ariza is fouled and hits one of two free throws. Golden State has an opportunity to go for the tie or the win. Houston leads 96-94 with 6.7 seconds remaining in regulation.

11:22 p.m. ET - Draymond Green again cuts the deficit to one by knocking down a 3-pointer with just over a minute left to play.

11:20 p.m. ET - A Draymond Green putback momentarily cuts the deficit to one, but Eric Gordon responds with a 3-pointer assisted by James Harden. Houston leads 95-91 with 1:21 remaining in the game.

11:17 p.m. ET - Three free throws from Klay Thompson cut into the deficit. Thompson has 23 on the night, but the Rockets still lead 92-89 with 2:21 remaining.

11:12 p.m. ET - A floater from Chris Paul pushes the Rockets lead to six with just over four minutes remaining. After a rough first half, Paul is 6-of-10 in the second and leads Houston with 20 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. It's 92-86 heading into the final stretch.

11:07 p.m. ET - Just under six minutes remain in the game and the Rockets hold an 86-82 lead over the Warriors. James Harden, who is now 4-of-16 from the field, is finding his groove offensively by attacking the basket and getting to the line. The MVP finalist is now 9-of-9 from the charity stripe and has 17 points.

10:55 p.m ET - Chris Paul. Feeling it! The Rockets star guard is up to 16 second-half points.

End of third quarter: Warriors 72, Rockets 71

10:48 p.m. ET - After going back-and-forth throughout the third, the Warriors hold a 72-71 lead over Houston heading into the final frame.

Through three, this one has the makings of another instant classic. There have been a total of eight ties and 11 lead changes so far.

Kevin Durant leads all scorers with 27 points, but the Warriors offence has become stagnant with an increase in one-on-one play.

Houston is led by Eric Gordon's 14 points on 4-of-13 shooting. As a team, the Rockets are still struggling from the field, shooting at a 36.1 percent clip.

10:40 p.m. ET - With 2:40 remaining in the third, things are again tied at 66. Kevin Durant still leads all scorers, but has only scored three points in the quarter.

10:28 p.m. ET - Make that three third-quarter 3-pointers for Chris Paul, who's up to 11 points for the night. Things are tied at 59 midway through the third.

10:24 p.m. ET - Chris Paul is heating up - he's hit two 3-pointers to start the half and the Rockets lead 56-54 at the 8:00 mark.

Halftime: Rockets 45, Warriors 45

10:03 p.m. ET - Golden State closes the half on an 8-0 run to tie things at 45.

Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have combined to score 36 of the Warriors 45 points on 13-of-28 shooting. The rest of the team has only taken nine shots, connecting on three of them.

Despite leading for the majority of the first half, Houston has had a rough night on the offensive end as well, shooting 16-of-45 from the field and 6-of-24 from deep. James Harden leads the way with nine points on 4-of-13 shooting, while Chris Paul is 0-of-7 and has scored two points from the charity stripe.

Paul has made his presence felt elsewhere, grabbing five rebounds and dishing out four assists. Outside of Paul and Harden, the Rockets are 12-of-25 from the field, led by Clint Capela's eight points, 10 rebounds and two huge blocks.

9:59 p.m. ET - Two free throws from Kevin Durant cut the deficit to one with under a minute remaining in the first half. Durant has a game-high 18 points but the Rockets lead 45-44.

9:50 p.m ET - A Klay Thompson 3-pointer temporarily cuts the deficit to five, but James Harden responds with a driving and-one layup.

Houston leads 45-37 with 3:15 remaining in the half. Thompson and Steph Curry have combined to score 18 of the Warriors 20 second-quarter points.

9:38 p.m. ET - After being held scoreless in the first quarter, Steph Curry is finding his groove. The two-time MVP has seven points in the first four minutes of the second.

End of first quarter: Rockets 23, Warriors 17

9:28 p.m. ET - It was an offensive struggle for both teams, but the Rockets lead 23-17 after one. Golden State shot 8-of-21 in the first quarter while the Rockets finished the frame shooting 8-of-24. Kevin Durant leads all scorers with 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Neither Klay Thompson or Steph Curry have scored.

Clint Capela leads the way for Houston with eight points and seven rebounds, while James Harden and Chris Paul have combined to score four points on 1-of-7 shooting.

9:19 p.m. ET - The Rockets use a 9-2 scoring run to take a 19-10 lead over the Warriors with 2:31 remaining in the first quarter. Reserve guard Gerald Green helped spark the run, knocking down two 3-pointers in three minutes of action.

9:12 p.m. ET - Despite a fast start, Houston leads 10-8 at the first timeout of the night. Clint Capela has eight of the Rockets' 10 points, while Kevin Durant has scored six of the Warriors' eight points. Neither team has shot well thus far, but the difference has been Capela and the Warriors three turnovers in the first 6:32.

9:02 p.m. ET - The Rockets win the tip and things are underway at the Toyota Center. James Harden is the first player to get on the board.

8:43 p.m. ET - No changes in the starting lineup for the Rockets or Warriors from Game 4. Third-year centre Kevon Looney will start in place of the injured Andre Iguodala for the second-consecutive game.

7:39 p.m. ET - All-Star Klay Thompson is available to play, but Andre Iguodala has been ruled out for Game 5.

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