Rudy Gobert turned in his best game of the series with 12 points, nine boards, and five blocks. The new Rockets have Chris Paul.
But even for his Houston Rockets teammates, what they saw from him Tuesday night was on another level.
"We knew this was going to be the match-up back in October", Barkley said on TNT, as quoted by the Express. I know that. He's such a huge factor for us in every series because of his versatility. He had a look in his eyes. "If he has that look in his eyes ... he's a problem".
OAKLAND, Calif. - Stephen Curry had 28 points, Kevin Durant scored 24 and the Golden State Warriors advanced to the Western Conference finals by defeating Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans. "We will authorize wearing of the Houston Rockets uniform cap during Finals for a World Championship like we did during the World Series".
It will be Houston's second trip to the Western Conference finals in four years and the first ever for Paul. They went from playing lackluster defense at times, to being No. 1 in the league in defensive efficiency in the playoffs.
As well as advancing to the Conference Finals for the first time in his career, according to ESPN, the Rockets point guard now joins the legendary Chicago Bulls star as the only two players throughout National Basketball Association history to have accomplished a certain feat.
The Rookie of the Year hopeful, who had scored 22 points in a relentless third quarter to give Utah a lead entering the fourth quarter, needed to be helped off the court and back to the locker room by Jazz personnel.
"He was playing with a chip on his shoulder", Luc Mbah a Moute said. Houston is second at +240, the Cavs are third at +550 and the Celtics are a distant fourth at +1600. And with five days before Game 1, the anticipation will only grow - as will the opportunities for both sides to get their licks in. The real question that looms for me about this series is: Will Chris Paul and James Harden show up or disappear in the series?
"He was unbelievable", Harden said afterwards.
"It's just fun", he said.
Paul and D'Antoni also blended their shot selection, as D'Antoni said they would. "He just willed us to win". The 33-year-old's game-winning display left him contemplating his first career appearance in a Conference Finals. "We'll see who's better". The team has been open in saying that they built their team to challenge the Warriors and now they'll get their chance. "That's going to be the toughest thing for them". "We'll have to bring our A-plus game and I think our guys are ready". If Curry puts up great scoring numbers, it will be a much easier series for the Warriors. Like we got a goal, and whoever is in the way of that goal, you know, then we got to see you. "We are still taking steps toward that, but this is an accomplishment".
The three Warriors-Rockets games were about as anticipated as any in the regular season: Golden State lost two of the three, and the final combined score of those matchups was Warriors 353, Rockets 352. "We're not about to run off talking about how bad we want to play somebody".