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But we're not about to run around like, 'Yeah, we want to play them in the conference finals.' For what?

Chris Paul, who is in his first season with the Rockets after an offseason trade from the Los Angeles Clippers, scored a playoff career-high 41 points and added 10 assists and seven rebounds to lock up his first spot in the conference finals with a 112-102 Game 5 victory over the Utah Jazz.

This is a huge indication that the gambling world attributes the Rockets superior regular season record to Warriors injuries.

Game 1 tips off Monday in Houston at 6:00 p.m.

"No matter what the score is, no matter the time, whatever it is, we play desperate", Holiday said.

Following a first round sweep of the third seed in the Western Conference, the New Orleans Pelicans looked like a legitimate threat to the mighty Golden State Warriors in the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs. In this picture, Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors congratulates Durant #35 after he made a basket against the Minnesota Timberwolves at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California, on January 25, 2018.

The three Warriors-Rockets games were about as anticipated as any in the regular season: Golden State lost two of the three, and the final combined score of those matchups was Warriors 353, Rockets 352. Golden State broke open a close game with a 36-19 bulge in the third quarter to go up 20: the Pelicans couldn't draw closer than seven the rest of the way.

"We've been hearing about that match-up all year", Durant told NBC Sports on Tuesday. The Warriors have won every time. In the post-game conference Tuesday night, Rockets point guard Chris Paul talked about his long-time relationship with PJ Tucker. Half a minute into the fourth quarter, Paul made a 3-point shot to cut into Utah's five-point lead, and CP3 finished the quarter by making all four of his 3-point shots, including the backbreaker - a banked-in 26-footer that gave Houston a 105-96 lead with 2:30 left in the game.

So far this postseason, with Durant and Green leading the way, the Warriors have admirably defended the slower San Antonio Spurs and now the imposing, push-the-pace Pelicans. We got a couple swings to go in there and take one.

"Just understanding what it is I can do to get better", he said. The point guard played a crucial role in helping them make a fourth straight Western Conference final. "Cute love story", James Harden joked. "It throws a lot of these groups off, but for us, we've got a versatile group that can play different ways". "He went out there and took over the game".