Draymond Green: Warriors focused on winning title, not beating Rockets

Andrew D. Bernstein  NBAE  

  The Roundup—Jazz put up a fight in season-ending loss to Rockets

Andrew D. Bernstein NBAE The Roundup—Jazz put up a fight in season-ending loss to Rockets

Houston beat Utah Jazz 112-102 to also wrap up a 4-1 series win. After Houston forged an 11-point lead on two Clint Capela free throws at the 7:16 mark, Mitchell ignited a 12-0 run with a step-back jumper, a layup through a foul, and an assist on a corner 3 by Burks. "Actually, let's not wait, effective tomorrow we will authorize the Rockets cap through the playoffs, but it has to be the dark cap like this", Acevedo tweeted. Gonzalez tweeted back to Acevedo.

The Warriors won in five games over New Orleans to reach the conference finals, and Stephen Curry returned to the lineup from a knee injury. Who knows? They just might be able to beat the Warriors at their own game.

If it weren't for a beating-the-Warriors obsessed Rockets team led by general manager Daryl Morey, D'Antoni's career might've petered out.

But, according to Warriors' coach Steve Kerr, the Rockets don't have any sort of advantage.

"The first two games here, we've gotten production out of the bottom of the order and that sets up nicely for the top of the order", Hinch said.

After seemingly an entire season on anticipation, the Warriors and Rockets are finally slated to meet in the Western Conference Finals starting next Monday in Houston. He won 65 percent of his games with the Suns, and his teams were an orbital bone fracture, hip check or putback away from making the NBA Finals - pick one or multiple.

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What do the Rockets have that could end the Warriors' reign atop the sport? In fact, regular-season matchups aside, the teams have met in the postseason - including this year's Western Conference Finals - three times since 2014. And now, with both teams having stayed on script by advancing to the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday, this story line comes full circle. The Warriors have gone to five games in both of their series.

The first half was largely dominated by the Rockets, although as they have all series Utah's defensive resiliency helped them go on runs to sustain their chance of avoiding elimination.

Whether Looney's role in the playoffs is over or not, it is clear that he has become a key part of the Warriors' future.

"For us it was just. they were in the way", Paul said. Toronto has been the league's deepest team for the balance of the season and its +155 prop is enticing, since this might be the strongest squad the Raptors have yet assembled. It will only be the seventh game this season in which the Warriors have been the underdogs. Alec Burks added 22 off the bench while Royce O'Neale scored 17.

Only once in those three-plus seasons have the Warriors lost a playoff series - and it took the greatest player of his generation, LeBron James, leading his team back from a three-games-to-one deficit in the NBA Finals, aided by a Draymond Green suspension. Paul's 2017-18 stats lined up nearly exactly with his career stats and he actually took more field goal attempts per game than he did last season.

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