Houston announced Friday that Paul would miss Game 6 with a hamstring strain, delivering a sizeable blow to their chances of ending the Western Conference Finals in Oakland, California.
Last season's playoff results: Rockets eliminated by San Antonio Spurs 4-2 in second round; Warriors won NBA Finals. Perhaps it's due to that sense of inevitability that Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors seemed destined to match-up against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for the third-consecutive season in the NBA Finals.
There was hope that some rest would allow Paul to recover in time for Game 6, which is set for 8 p.m. Saturday night, but word is already getting out that he won't make it.
The injury was so bad that immediately after Paul suffered it after taking a shot in the lane that missed, he remained on the ground as Golden State stormed back the other way on a 5-on-4 advantage.
Kevin Durant scored 29 points for the Warriors, who lost in Game 5 of a playoff series for just the second time since 2015.
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"I think we're excited about that opportunity to go home, to get ourselves back in the series, stay alive, obviously, like I said, then worry about a Game 7".
D'Antoni said "without a doubt" the team will be able to handle the challenge of playing Game 6 without CP3.
The Rockets have not reached the Finals since they managed it on successive occasions in in 1994 and 1995.
Paul was receiving treatment after the game and did not speak to reporters. The reason for Paul's action was in response to Curry doing the same thing in the midst of a Game 3 blowout win for the Warriors. The Warriors opened as 10.5-point favorites, which shifted to 12 when Paul's absence became official.
"I feel great about where we are right now", Kerr said after Game 5, according to The Athletic. The 31-point margin represented the largest victory in Warriors postseason history, and the most lopsided loss in the Rockets' postseason history. Now he and the Warriors are just waiting on the team's head performance therapist Chelsea Lane to clear Iguodala. "We know we can win two games", said Green during his post-game press conference.