Not that he's ready to celebrate.
The Rockets won their third consecutive game in the best-of-seven series, with Chris Paul scoring 41 points in a 112-102 victory over the Utah Jazz. Not at all, not at all. Obviously, you want to build your team to beat the defending champs because that's usually how you have to go to win a championship. He put us all on his back in that fourth quarter and said "Listen - I got this".
Often, the best series in the National Basketball Association playoffs come before the Finals.
Paul is the first player to have 40 points, 10 assists, and zero turnovers in a playoff game since turnovers became an official stat in 1977-78. Curry led the Warriors with 28 points.
Despite his domination on the court, Paul never got over the hump, falling short of the conference finals in each of those four tries. That included the Rockets' final 18 points over the final six minutes, when he scored 15 points and fed PJ Tucker for a dagger 3-pointer with 35 seconds remaining. Last year, they went 8-0 en route to reaching that stage and this year, they aren't far off only dropping one game in each round (8-2).
"No disrespect, but we were just focused on us during the season and how we can get better every day", Durant said. "Timing can still get a little better with the ball, things like that, when you start to get so excited.I continue to get better, continue to get my timing right and continue to get back to the normal rotations, normal, you know, minutes that I'm out there playing, and hopefully won't look back". He got in his bag and he called everybody off. "You see when you let the dog off the leash what happens". Jrue Holiday, Anthony Davis and company narrowed the margin to seven points, but Draymond Green knocked down an unexpected fadeaway jumper to stop the bleeding for Golden State, a shot he deemed as pure "luck" in a post-game interview.
"CP3! CP3! CP3!" the Toyota Center crowd chanted during that stretch. It's going to be a chess game. Coach Steve Kerr said the Warriors players will have Wednesday off. "If we played them that night, that's when we focused on them".
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Paul endured 12 tortured seasons with the New Orleans Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers where he failed to make the conference finals and has carried the stigma of not being able to take his team deep into the playoffs. However, per Paul in a post-game interview, Harden was under the weather yesterday. Houston set a franchise record with 65 wins in the regular season, went 2-1 against the Warriors in games that were hyped at the time though seem meaningless now, and has the likely MVP in James Harden.
It was different this time around.
Should this prediction come true and the Warriors win in seven games, that means they did it on the Rockets' home floor at the end.
"Yeah, I feel good".
All season, we've been waiting on Warriors-Rockets, and we're finally getting it - no excuses, no caveats.
"This is just the beginning", Mitchell told ESPN after a post-game chat with his mentor Paul.