HOUSTON -- If the Warriors are going to make a fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, they’ll have to do it by recovering from back-to-back losses to win consecutive games against the Rockets.
A 98-94 loss in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday gives Houston a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Four Warriors scored in double figures, with Kevin Durant totaling a team-high 29 points. Klay Thompson put in 23, Stephen Curry 22 and Draymond Green added 12.
The Warriors played generally solid defense, but once again hurt their cause with turnovers. They committed 18, leading to 18 Houston points.
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STANDOUT PERFORMER: He didn’t shoot great, didn’t rebound much and had zero assists. Yet Durant was forcing the action on offense and finding buckets at times no other Warrior could.
Durant’s line: 29 points (8-of-22 shooting from the field, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc, 10-of-10 from the line), four rebounds and one block. He played 39 minutes and was plus-5.
Side note: Durant is 37-of-37 from the line in the series.
TURNING POINT: This one was tight, with no lead greater than six after the first quarter. Not until the Warriors committed their 18th turnover, Green losing his dribble in the final seconds leading to a pair of free throws by Eric Gordon with 2.4 seconds remaining was this one decided.
Tied 45-45 at the half, the teams remained within three points throughout the third quarter.
INJURY UPDATE: Warriors: G Klay Thompson (L knee strain) was listed as questionable and upgraded to available prior to tipoff. F Andre Iguodala (L lateral leg contusion) was listed as questionable and downgraded to out prior to tipoff. G Pat McCaw (lumbar spine contusion) was listed as out.
Rockets: No injuries listed.
WHAT’S NEXT: Game 6 is scheduled for Saturday at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. Pacific. Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 4:30, with postgame coverage immediately after the final horn.