The Rockets announced Friday (May 25) the decision to hold Paul out for the game set for Saturday at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.
There was Paul on Thursday night, carrying the Houston Rockets in the third quarter, with an array of improbable shots, most notably a double-pump three-pointer as the shot clock expired. Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters that Paul predicted Houston's stunning Game 4 victory before it happened. "We want to take advantage of it".
So when news broke Friday morning that Paul might miss Game 6 with an apparent hamstring injury, it was the kind of thing that could change the entire complexity of the game and series. That reevaluation determined that Paul will not play in Game 6, with his status for a possible Game 7 on Monday still undetermined.
Paul has averaged 21.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists during the playoffs for the Rockets, who had an NBA-best 65-17 regular-season record and ousted Minnesota and Utah in five games each in the opening rounds of the playoffs. Just like Cleveland in the East, a run of three straight trips to the championship round is on the verge of ending.
"It will not change anything that we do or how we do it", D'Antoni said.
"We've been here before", Curry said. Both were considered questionable prior to game day. "I'm just missing shots, but we're winning".
Thompson suffered a left knee strain during the second quarter of Game 4.
After the game, the camera crews showed him walking gingerly back to the locker room. "We'll just continue to take it day-to-day". Curry made four free throws to tie Rick Barry for most free throws made in the playoffs in franchise history with 378. Without him, Golden State's margin for error widens significantly, as the Rockets have no obvious replacement for Paul on either side of the ball.
Injury Report: Warriors G Patrick McCaw has yet to play this postseason due to a spinal contusion. He had been playing well before that, scoring 18 of his 20 points in the second half and even shimmying in front of the shimmy master himself, Stephen Curry. He might really like where his team stands if Andre Iguodala returns from a two-game absence to play Saturday.