"It was really one of the most weird first halves of basketball that we've played since I've been here", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. During that time, he helped the Rockets win the NBA Finals in 1994 against the New York Knicks and in 1995 against Orlando Magic. Both teams overcame a grueling best-of-7 series in the Conference Finals and won Game 7 on the road.
Paul, who injured his leg in the fourth quarter of Houston's Game 5 win on Thursday, was a game-time decision on Monday, but the Rockets but the Rockets reportedly concluded that he just couldn't play through the injury.
Without Iguodala, who certainly isn't the Warriors' best player but is widely considered through the organization as the smartest, they figured it out indeed.
They might have to do it without star Chris Paul, who is dealing with a strained right hamstring that kept him out of Game 6.
The absence of Chris Paul was sorely felt as the Rockets' reliably fertile 3-point ground suddenly turned barren and sour. "So for us that's our challenge to have the same mentality we had for the last 36 minutes of (Game 6) and bring that from the jump in Game 7".
Golden State coach Steve Kerr is trying to figure out why his team has struggled to put together complete games in this series, but is proud that the Warriors have found ways to win despite their up and down play.
"We knew it was going to be tough on him", D'Antoni said. This is the lowest MPG average of Golden State's centers in the 4 years that they have been in the finals.
The Rockets, meanwhile, misfired again and again from long range.
Warriors: Curry went to the locker room with trainers between the first and second quarters, but returned to the bench with about 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter and soon returned to the game. "Obviously, he's a big part of why we're here, but we had opportunities, especially in the first half both games". In the 2018 playoffs, the Rockets have defended their home court well, with a 7-2 record.
"We should have won tonight", Rockets general manager Daryl Morey told ESPN. Houston will be haunted by some of those missed open looks as well as Paul's injury.
"I'll be good, though", he said.