Rockets’ Chris Paul out for Game 7 of Western Conference Finals

Iguodala Day-to-Day Paul Game Time Decision for Game 7 Ian Smith

Iguodala Day-to-Day Paul Game Time Decision for Game 7 Ian Smith

With their backs up against the wall, many expected the Golden State Warriors to come out firing against the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.

Paul injured the hamstring in the final seconds of Game 5 Thursday night following a fadeaway shot over Warriors' guard Quinn Cook.

Thompson's second-half outburst - reminiscent of his landscape-changing Game 6 showing against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the West finals two years ago - lifted the Warriors to a 115-86 victory Saturday, giving the league two Game 7s this holiday weekend. Paul has averaged 21.1 points, 5.8 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game during the postseason.

He mentioned that the assessment wasn't gamesmanship or an attempt to be coy and that they'd be more direct about Paul's status the moment they have more clarity. The Warriors' disjointed offense, miscommunication on defense and Houston's blistering shooting led to a 39-22 Rockets lead after the first quarter.

The Rockets played themselves out of the playoffs and they did it by lazily launching 3-pointers instead of attacking the paint.

Durant finished Game 6 with 23 points, but the majority of those points came on free throws. The Warriors are plus-68 in third quarters during this season, including plus-35 in the past two games, when the Rockets really could have used Chris Paul's calming presence.

There is something appropriate about the Houston Rockets' championship aspirations hinging upon the availability of guard Chris Paul.

But if they don't - if they allow the Rockets to get going from three-point range and get their hometown crowd behind them, and go into the fourth quarter in a close game - Golden State's season could very easily be over in a few short hours.

"Effort. Intensity. Passion", Thompson said of the Warriors' second-half surge. Missing Game 7 against the Warriors is the worst scenario in the world to him. Meanwhile, the Rockets are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a loss of more than 10 points and 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a loss. And when the Warriors made a run in the second quarter, Houston had the answer.

Richard Sherman, for one, is convinced the National Basketball Association had its fingerprints all over Cleveland's Game 6 win Friday night. Here's what you need to know about Warriors and Rockets going into the Western Conference Finals. "So you take him away from them, it's a huge loss for them", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

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