The Golden State Warriors insisted they weren’t worried Thursday night when they lost Game 5 to the Houston Rockets and were pushed to the brink of elimination. Heading back to Oracle Arena for Game 6 while facing a 3-2 series deficit, the defending champions displayed an air of confidence that one would expect from arguably the greatest NBA team ever assembled.

“I feel great about where we are right now,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters after Golden State’s 98-94 loss Thursday night. “That may sound crazy, but I feel it. I know exactly what I'm seeing out there, and we defended them beautifully tonight. We got everything we needed. Just too many turnovers, too many reaches, and if we settle down a little bit, we're going to be in really good shape.”

Draymond Green all but guaranteed that Golden State would win Game 6 Saturday night and extend the series, telling ESPN, “We'll be back here for Game 7.”

“You'd be a fool not to believe me,” Green said when asked about the team’s inconsistent play. “If you don't ever believe anything I say, believe this: We're a group of champions.”

After hearing the news that Chris Paul won’t suit up for Houston in Game 6, it’d be hard not to believe Green.

Stephen Curry Chris Paul Warriors Rockets Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors drives against Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets in the third quarter of Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on May 24, 2018 in Houston. Photo: Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Rockets’ starting point guard limped off the court in Game 5 with less than a minute remaining in regulation. Houston announced Friday that Paul would miss Game 6 with a hamstring strain, delivering a sizeable blow to their chances of ending the Western Conference Finals in Oakland, California.

No one on the Rockets played more of a role in Houston’s two consecutive wins than Paul. He was easily the team’s best player in their 95-92 Game 4 victory, shooting 50 percent from the field for 27 points, seven of which came in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter when Houston erased a 12-point deficit. Paul scored 18 of his 20 Game 5 points in the second half, making a handful of seemingly impossible third-quarter shots with James Harden on the bench to give the Rockets the lead.

A healthy Houston backcourt would probably still not be enough against Golden State Saturday night. This is the same core of stars that has gone 16-1 at Oracle Arena during the playoffs since the start of last year’s postseason. The Warriors have never lost three consecutive games in which both Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry have played together.

Golden State’s stars have been uncharacteristically bad in crunch time. Durant and Curry both made just one field goal in the fourth quarter of Game 4, shooting a combined two-of-13 as the Warriors blew a sizeable lead. In the final 4:50 of Game 5, Curry only took one shot—a missed floater—and had no assists. Durant converted no field goals with no assists in the fourth quarter of Game 5 and hit one field goal in the contest’s final 21 minutes.

“I think the way we've played the last two games, we've played good enough to win and just haven't gotten the job done,” Curry said after Game 5. “So, going home Game 6, the way we played tonight, if we can repeat that, take care of turnovers, just stay mentally locked in on the details for 48 minutes, we know we can get a win. Just with the talent we have on this team and the resiliency and whatnot, you know, we can get the job done.”

Golden State likely won’t have to worry about getting crunch-time scoring with Houston missing one of their two All-Stars. The Rockets’ defense can keep the game within reach for the first half, but they won’t be able to survive one of the Warriors’ third-quarter scoring barrages if Paul is sidelined. That’s too much of a burden for Harden to carry against an elite defensive team.

The Warriors should feel great heading into Game 6. Now that Paul is hurt, they’ll be facing a different Rockets’ team than the one that has threatened to dethrone their dynasty.

Game 6 Prediction: Golden State over Houston, 110-97