Warriors

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in clinching Game 6 win vs. Rockets

Warriors

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HOUSTON -- With Kevin Durant back in the Bay Area recovering from a calf injury, the Warriors needed a performance that matched their "Strength in Numbers" mantra.

They got that and more Friday night, as they beat the Rockets 118-113 in Game 6 of the NBA playoff second-round series, pushing Golden State to the Western Conference finals next week.

Without Durant, Warriors coach Steve Kerr turned toward a number of different lineups, giving extended minutes to Quinn Cook, Jordan Bell and Jonas Jerebko. The plan worked, and the Warriors now will make their fifth consecutive trip to the Western Conference finals.

Here are the takeaways from the decisive game at Toyota Center.

Steph cooks late

Hours before Game 6, Stephen Curry sported a pair of Under Armour Curry 1s, an homage to his first championship season. However, with Durant out, Curry struggled to find his 2015 magic, missing eight of his first nine shots as the Rockets fronted him off screens much of the night.

Curry recovered in the fourth quarter, hitting 6 of 8 shots and scoring 21 of his 33 points in the final frame, to help the Warriors advance.

This series has been rough for Curry. Entering Friday, he had made just 39 percent of his shots as he battled through a dislocated left middle finger. With Game 1 of the Western Conference finals coming early next week, Curry will need all the recovery time he can get.

 

Klay Day (And Everybody's Celebratin')

A lot has been been made of Klay Thompson's past Game 6 performances, notably in the 2016 postseason. On Friday, with Curry struggling, he evoked similar memories, scoring 21 of his game-high 27 points in the first half.

None of Thompson's shots were bigger than the one he hit with less than a minute left that put away the series.

Thompson had struggled from the field through much of the series, making just 42 percent of his shots entering Game 6. Still, as the Warriors know, Thompson is the ultimate heat-check player who can get hot at any time. This is why he's on this team -- for moments like this. 

Iguodala again finds the fountain of youth

Andre Iguodala has been defying age all postseason, and Game 6 was another example. The 35-year-old finished with 17 points, two rebounds, three assists and a team-high five steals in an elimination game. 

Iguodala made timely shots all night, hitting five 3-pointers to settle the Warriors down, including one with 10:22 in the fourth quarter that ended a Rockets run. 

Many Warriors players have credited Iguodala for being a calming influence. In times of chaos, he's known to bring the goods, and Game 6 was another example.