National Basketball Association
Preview
Houston at Golden State
When: 9:00 PM ET, Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California

The Golden State Warriors take a second swipe at finishing off Houston when they host the suddenly torrid Rockets in Wednesday’s Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. Houston remained alive with a splendid 128-115 victory in Monday’s Game 4 that represents the most points Golden State has allowed all season.

The two teams combined for a postseason record 37 3-pointers – 20 by the Warriors – and Rockets guard James Harden rebounded from a poor Game 3 showing to record a game for the ages with a playoff-best 45 points and nine rebounds to keep Houston alive. “Our season comes down to winning one road game. That’s not going to be anything new,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said at Tuesday’s press conference. “We’ve been in that situation before. We’ve just got to go in there and execute.” Golden State point guard Stephen Curry dodged a serious injury in Game 4 when his defensive attempt to stop Trevor Ariza saw him catapult over the Rockets forward and land on the back of his head, prompting a check for a possible concussion before being cleared to return. “That was the worst because you’re in the air for a long time,” Curry said in his postgame press conference. “And not knowing how you’re going to hit the floor, knowing that it’s going to happen, it’s inevitable but you’re up there just trying to brace yourself.”

TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN

ABOUT THE ROCKETS: Harden made seven 3-pointers in a scoring effort that tied for third-most in Houston playoff history with legendary Hakeem Olajuwon having performances of 49, 46 and 45 points. He scored 33 points in the second half as the Rockets rediscovered an offense that tallied just 80 points in a demoralizing Game 3 loss. “We got after them and we’ve got to get after them again,” McHale told reporters. “We’ve got to attack them, we’ve got to play our style of basketball. If the ball moves from player to player, the more willingly and the more rapidly and harder and quicker, it’s harder to guard.”

ABOUT THE WARRIORS: Golden State coach Steve Kerr defended club trainers and doctors who cleared Curry to return to action and made it clear the league MVP was also insisting that he was fine. “As long as Steph says he’s good to go and the doctors told me he’s cleared, then I’m going to listen to that,” Kerr said in Tuesday’s press conference. “They’re the ones who are paid to do that, not me.” Curry scored 23 points despite playing just 31 minutes while slumping shooting guard Klay Thompson showed life by making six 3-pointers and scoring a personal series-best 24 points.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Rockets are the first team to win four consecutive elimination games in a single postseason since the Phoenix Suns (2006), and are 7-2 in elimination games under McHale.

2. Warriors F Draymond Green posted 21 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots in Game 4 while posting his third double-double of the series.

3. Houston C Dwight Howard (14 points, 12 rebounds in Game 4) has three straight double-doubles.

PREDICTION: Warriors 115, Rockets 108
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Houston 65-33 W1 37-13 27-20 6-1 59-32 12-9 42-26
Golden State 78-18 L1 45-3 33-15 9-1 69-17 13-3 53-13
Last Meeting
Houston Golden State
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
5/25/15 GS 115 HOU 128 128 46 56.6 115 47 45.4
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Houston J. Harden 45 59.1 12
Golden State K. Thompson 24 42.9 0
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Houston D. Howard 12 1 11
Golden State D. Green 15 3 12
Assists Player  
Houston J. Harden 5
Golden State A. Bogut 4
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Houston J. Harden 2771 44.1 901
Golden State S. Curry 2433 48.5 401
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Houston D. Howard 676 177 499
Golden State D. Green 832 154 678
Assists Player  
Houston J. Harden 707
Golden State S. Curry 752
Quickchart Matchup
Houston Off vs  Golden State Defense
104.8 Points For
99.4 Points Against
44.5 FG%
42.9 FG%
44.1 Reb
44.3 Reb
Golden State Off vs  Houston Defense
109.1 Points For
102.2 Points Against
47.6 FG%
44.6 FG%
44.3 Reb
44.2 Reb