Houston Rockets: 3 takeaways from Game 6 vs. Warriors

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson celebrates during the second half of Game 6 of the NBA basketball Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets in Oakland Calif. Saturday

And a due Klay Thompson is a frightening enemy to have. There's Kevin Durant, the man who altered the course of the league by choosing to leave Oklahoma City for the Bay Area two summers ago.

"I think he'll play as soon as he can", D'Antoni said pregame. "Tonight, obviously, we did a better job of finding the balance".

Yet, because Thompson disdains interviews, and doesn't seek out the spotlight, he tends to fly under the radar. He doesn't worry about judgment and results. I just wanted to play with as much passion as I could tonight. "He's so comfortable in his own skin". So, the pressure doesn't seem to bother him much. These guys train so hard and they're here and they're competing, and you want everybody to be healthy, but just the reality is it usually doesn't work out that way. They were missing easy shots. Houston committed four quick turnovers. Four years later, Durant had the Warriors on the ropes up 3-1, but he and the Thunder couldn't win one out of three games, squandering the chance to defeat the 73-win Warriors - which he, in particular, was crucified for. Without Chris Paul, the Rockets began to look disorganized in the third quarter.

Saturday night's performance was reminiscent of Klay's Game 6 performance in 2016 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, in which he dropped in an National Basketball Association playoff record 11 threes on route to a 41-point performance. The Rockets responded to a 41-point loss in Game 3 - the most lopsided playoff loss in franchise history - by winning the next two games to put the defending-champion Warriors on the brink of elimination. He checked in late in the fourth quarter and even made a jumper.

Thompson said the Warriors would be ready.

But they'll have a hard task as Houston will have home-court advantage and are determined to knock off the champs.

For all the game-changing carnage he can bring, there's an unmistakable peace to Thompson.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green celebrates with guard Klay Thompson during the second half of Game 6 of the NBA basketball Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets in Oakland Calif. Saturday
Chris Paul ruled out for Game 6 of WCF, status unknown for Game 7

The Warriors swamped the Rockets 115-86.

My guess for Monday night: Paul tries to play, but can't. "It sounds amusing, but I had to go find my Chipotle barbacoa". Let's just get that out there. This feels great right now but as soon as I'm down the tunnel I'm going to forget about this game.

Win or lose, the storyline for Game 6 is the same for Durant: It's the biggest game of his career.

Houston needed a third scorer to join Gordon and leading NBA MVP candidate James Harden sans Paul.

The Rockets didn't appear to miss Chris Paul early on, outscoring Golden State 39-22 in the opening frame, including an 8-1 advantage in 3-pointers. Stephen Curry also had stellar performance, finishing with 29 points and six assists.

No arguing they both appreciate Thompson's no-fear shooting approach and ability to nearly single-handedly turn the tide of a game with a timely 3-pointer or two - or nine. The guy is a machine. "He's just so fit physically".

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