OAKLAND, California – Houston Rockets star James Harden made a big splash after Saturday night's Golden State Warriors lost the PlayStation 6 games, ending the Western Conference finals.
Harden came back For a team bonding trip, the Rockets went to the Bahamas over the summer and said he would have willingly used an opportunity to play a Game 7 at home with the chance to head to the NBA Finals come. They will have this chance, but Rock's co-star Chris Paul's status is in grave doubt about a right thigh strain that knocked him out on Saturday night.
"We'll take that," Harden said after Houston's 115-86 loss to the Warriors in the Oracle Arena. "So nothing changes for us, we know what we have to do, we are still confident, we are a confident group, and we have only one chance."
Coach Mike D & # 39; Antoni said he has "No idea" if Paul could recover in time to play in Game 7. Houston, however, keeps moving with the attitude of getting Paul back would be a big bonus.
"Less likely than likely, but every angle to try" A league source told ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski about the possibility of a Paul comeback for Game 7.
"Of course we want him," Rockets forward PJ Tucker said. "He's one of the best pointkeepers in the league, but if he does not play, we'll figure it out, we'll do what we need to do to win this game, the five guys on whoever plays, we'll roll "We'll do it, that's what we're built for."
While Paul was warming up and watching from the bench, the Rockets roared to a 17-point lead after the first quarter and led by 10 at halftime. Then they were outperformed in the second half of Golden State "Splash Brothers" when Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry came together for 37 points and the Rockets reached only 25.
Houston has proved its ability to ascend after getting up wrong end of a router during this series. The Rockets reacted to a loss of 41 points in Game 3 – the worst playoff loss in the history of the franchise – and won the next two games to put the defending champion Warriors to the brink of extinction.
• ESPN Forecast: Celtics, Rockets Can Claim?
• Must the Warriors change their core if they lose?
• Trevor Ariza is easy to miss, but should not
• Answering the Big Questions in the Eastern Final
• The Mourning for Kyle Korvers Playoff Run
• 13 Moments that shape LeBron's History
• NBA Offseason Guides for Retired Teams
• Tickets for Vivid Seats
Paul played a key role in the Rockets' last two victories, averaging 23.5 points in those two wins but tensing his Achilles tendon in the final minute of Game 5.
"Obviously with Chris below, this is [tough] but we are a confident crew, "Rockets Reserve Swingman Gerald Green said. "We are a confident bunch, what we did in the first half shows what we can do, we can do more than that, we still made mistakes, but we just have to put 48 minutes together."
The Rockets earned the right to play the game 7 at home by rolling to the best record of the NBA. Houston went 65-17, including 15-9 in games Paul did not play.
"There is no pressure," said Harden, who had 32 points and nine assists but committed nine turnovers in Game 6. "It's an opportunity But, an opportunity we all like to be part of Game 7 in our house, we've been working the whole regular season, home advantage, we'll come out and we'll be ready."
D & # 39; Antoni added: "So we have what we want, now it's up to us to get it, it's going to rock, and H-city is going to be fired, it's up to us to turn it off."