The Golden State Warriors record a 104-99 win over the Houston Rockets to take a 3-2 series lead in Oakland.
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Draymond Green and Klay Thompson hit three-pointers on consecutive possessions late in the game, allowing the Warriors to hold off the Rockets 104-99 in Game 5 of the Western Conference semi-finals
Top-seeded Golden State’s third narrow win of the best-of-seven series puts the defending champions one victory away from a fifth straight trip to the West finals.
The Warriors will get their first opportunity to earn advancement in Game 6 of the series on Friday night in Houston. Game 7, if necessary, would be played Sunday in Oakland.
After the Rockets rallied from 20 down to take the lead late in the third quarter, and with Durant in the locker room for the final 14 minutes following a calf injury, the Warriors outfinished their fourth-seeded foe.
A three-pointer by Eric Gordon had the Rockets down just 89-88 with 4:49 to play and a free throw by James Harden kept Houston within 91-89 with 3:39 to go.
But Green then buried his three-pointer, and after a Houston turnover, Thompson bombed in his trey to push the Golden State lead to 97-89 with 2:34 remaining.
Warriors forward Kevin Durant limped off the court due to a right calf strain during the Golden State’s Game 5 win over the Houston Rockets
Houston got as close as three one more time, on a lay-up by Harden with 18.6 seconds left, before Thompson, after nearly throwing the ball away, scored for the clinching basket from close range with 4.1 seconds left.
Durant’s injury occurred innocently enough after he hit a jumper from the right side with 2:05 left in the third quarter. He took a step toward the defensive end of the court before grimacing in pain and looking down at his lower right leg, leading to concerns he might have ruptured his Achilles.
However, the injury was later announced by the Warriors to be a strained right calf and Thompson finished with 27 points, Stephen Curry 25 and Durant 22 for the Warriors, who continued a run of home wins by the teams in the series.
Andre Iguodala added 11 points, while Green had a brilliant all-around game before fouling out, complementing eight points with 12 rebounds and 11 assists.
Harden was the game’s leading scorer with 31 points for the Rockets, who were both outshot by the Warriors from the field 45.9 per cent to 41.8 per cent and outscored on three-pointers 39-36.
The Warriors used a 17-0 burst late in the first half to go up 57-37, only to see the entire advantage disappear before the end of the third period, when Harden’s floater gave Houston a 71-70 lead.
By Olukayode Oniwinde