Warriors get one F, two B's on Game 5 Report Card
Handing out the grades
HOUSTON -- As they prepared to meet Houston in the Western Conference Finals, we identified 5 Keys for the Warriors to win the series in six games or fewer. After each game, we assess how they grade out on those factors.
Here are the grades for Game 5, a 98-94 loss Thursday night at Toyota Center.
1) ICE THE ARC
The Rockets shot 30.2 percent (13-of-43) beyond the arc. James Harden was 0-of-11. Trevor Ariza and PJ Tucker were, for the most part, minimized. Chris Paul and Eric Gordon weren’t fabulously accurate, but they made some very timely triples. Paul, in particular, overcame strident defense to drain a couple that appeared to be guided by an unseen force. The Warriors can’t defend this element much better.
THE CHARITY STRIPE
The Rockets won the numbers contest here, going 27-of-32 while the Warriors were 20-of-23. Houston posted an 11-5 lead in fourth-quarter free throws. Harden shot a total of nine, which is too many. Gordon shot 10, which waaaay too many, with six attempts the result of defenders twice reaching on shots from deep. The Warriors, for the second consecutive game, were whistled for more fouls than the Rockets.
THE CHARITY COUNT
For the second consecutive game, the Warriors were careless at critical moments and inadvertently gave Houston a lot of help. They committed 18 turnovers, leading to 18 points for the Rockets. Two in the fourth quarter were especially costly, one when Harden got a transition dunk after overplaying Durant to steal an inbounds pass from Draymond Green and another when Green lost the ball and was forced to foul Gordon, whose free throws with 2.4 seconds left put the game out of reach. Green had more turnovers (six) than (assists), which illustrates the issue.
SC30 VS. CP3
Stephen Curry posted slightly better overall numbers than Chris Paul, scoring 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting, to Paul’s 20 on 6-of-19. Each had seven rebounds, and each had six assists. Paul, however, committed no turnovers while Curry gave up three. Paul’s impact on the game exceeded that of Curry, though, as his 18 second-half points (on 6-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-6 from deep) allowed the Rockets to overcome Harden’s 1-of-8 shooting after halftime.
Aside from the turnovers, Green pretty much matched the efforts of Houston center Clint Capela. Green totaled 12 points and 15 rebounds, Capela had 12 points and 14 rebounds but also blocked two shots. Youngsters Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell mixed some bad -- they each got caught reaching -- with the good. All in all, the Warriors did not hurt themselves here.