The Houston Rockets face the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 needing to win on the road in order to avoid elimination and keep their season alive.
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland.
When: Thursday May 28, 02:00 (UK time)
Watch live: Click here to watch on BT Sport online!
James Harden’s 45-point performance last time out ensured that the Warriors didn’t complete a series sweep, and coupled with Stephen Curry’s heavy fall, it all seemed as though things were crashing down for the championship favourites.
However, Curry is expected to play on Wednesday night after passing all concussion tests and being diagnosed with a mere bruised head as he looks to keep up his team’s strong play at home.
Golden State are 45-3 at home this year, including 6-1 in the playoffs, and although Houston ran them close in the opening two games, they will be confident that a raucous Oracle Arena will give them the edge that they need.
Dwight Howard escaped any further punishment for his hit on Andrew Bogut last time out, and so coach Kevin McHale will have his towering center take his place in the starting line-up.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have already secured their spot in the NBA Finals after sweeping the Atlanta Hawks to be crowned Eastern Conference champions, and on Wednesday night it will be confirmed that the Warriors will face them in the season finale.
Prediction: With Curry seemingly overcoming his scary fall, the Warriors are as strong as they can be for Game 5 and they will not want another trip back to Houston.
The Rockets have lost by just four and one in the two road games in this series and so they have proven that they can keep it close. However, close won’t be good enough to save their season on Wednesday and the pressure could get to them as they desperately look to keep themselves in contention.
Back the Rockets to keep it close again, but ultimately it will be Golden State who prevail and advance to the NBA Finals.