NBA

No Kevin Durant Gives Houston Rockets Extra Pressure to Beat Golden State Warriors

The Houston Rockets host the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of their best-of-seven playoff series on Friday night. Last year the Rockets led the Warriors 3-2 in the Western Conference Finals when Chris Paul had a right hamstring strain that forced him to miss Games 6 and 7. The Warriors took advantage of that and won both games to reach the NBA Finals.

Kevin Durant suffered a right calf strain on Wednesday night and he will miss the rest of the series. The Rockets, who are down 3-2, have been waiting almost a year to get payback on the Warriors; can they take advantage of Durant's absence, win the next two games and advance to the Western Conference Finals?

Friday, May 10 at 9:00 PM ET

Toyota Center

Coverage: ESPN

The Splash Brothers Show up While Harden Disappears Late

Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry struggled from 3-point range in Game 4, shooting a combined 5-for-20 but they were 8-for-21 on Wednesday's 104–99 win.

Thompson played his best game of the series, scoring 27 points on 11 of 20 shooting and 5 of 10 from beyond the arc, while Curry had 25 points despite going just 9-for-23 from the field and 3-for-11 from 3-point range.

Curry stepped up with 12 points in the fourth quarter when the Warriors needed him the most since KD was out and they need him to replicate that level of play for the rest of this series. Durant had 22 points, five rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes before his injury while James Harden finished with a game-high 31 points to go along with eight assists, four rebounds and four steals in 45 minutes.

Unlike Curry, Harden completely disappeared in the end, when the Rockets had a chance to take advantage of Durant's absence. The reigning NBA MVP had a usage rate of 22.9 percent on Wednesday, his lowest in any game, regular season or playoffs, this year and he had just one shot attempt in the final eight minutes of the fourth quarter.

With Kevin Durant possibly out for the rest of this series, the Warriors need Stephen Curry to find a rhythm from distance and play like in the fourth quarter of Game 5 and Klay Thompson being productive could mean the difference between winning or losing tonight.

NBA Pick: Warriors +7.5 (-110) at Jazz Sports

Check odds here: http://bit.ly/jazzonaff

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