The Golden State Warriors will be without Stephen Curry for at least two weeks, but they have a chance to punch their ticket to the second round of the playoffs on Wednesday night. They’ll host the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of their first-round series at Oracle Arena.
Even though the Warriors will be without their best player, the Rockets don’t have much reason to be optimistic. Golden State won Game 2 at home with Curry on the bench, and Houston was outscored by 27 points in the second half of Game 4 when Curry didn’t play.
Much has been made about the way the players on the Rockets reacted when James Harden hit a game-winning shot in Game 3. But Houston insists they are determined to advance, and they believe they can pull off the upset.
“I’m guaranteeing it,” said Jason Terry, via ESPN.com. “If I don’t, then what? It’s a loss, right. I guarantee victory -- that’s what it’s going to take. I believe in my group. I know we can get a win here and send this thing back to Houston.”
Houston needs to get more from Harden, who is averaging 24.5 points and 8.0 assists per game, but shooting just 37.7 percent from the field. Dwight Howard is averaging a double-double with 14.5 points and 12.3 rebounds, and Michael Beasley is third on the team with 10.3 points per contest.
Klay Thompson has been held to 39.1 percent shooting in the series, but he went seven-of-11 from three-point range in Golden State’s Game 4 victory. After committing seven turnovers in Game 3, Draymond Green totaled 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists on Sunday.
If the Rockets win in Golden State, the series moves back to Houston for Game 6 on Friday night. A victory for the Warriors means they’ll go on to play the winner of the first-round series between the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers. That series is tied at 2-2.
Start Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: TNT
Online Stream: WatchTNT
Betting Odds: Golden State-9.5, 212.5