Basketball: Golden State force series decider

Basketball: Golden State force series decider

On Saturday night, the defending National Basketball Association champs routed the Houston Rockets 115-86 to force a Game 7 in the Western Conference Finals - reminding their opponents and National Basketball Association fans that the reigning champs are not ready to relinquish the throne.

Kevin Durant contributed 23 points for the Warriors, who haven't been in a Game 7 since the 2016 NBA Finals against Cleveland, a game the Cavaliers won to deny Golden State back-to-back titles.

Thompson was brilliant from beyond the arc, hitting nine of his 14 three-point attempts.

An bad start was followed by three quarters of utter dominance, spot-on shot-making and lovely defense - even against one of the game's greatest and hardest to stop in James Harden. They scored 33 points including seven three-pointers in the third quarter to grab the lead and never looked back.

Stephen Curry added 29 points and three blocks in the win over the Rockets, and Draymond Green's defense was top notch (five blocks).

"I don't know if I was born for it, but I definitely worked my butt off to get to this point", Thompson said.

"The guy's a machine", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. In a series that has swung wildly in favor of whoever was the home team that night, the season comes down to one game for these two team.

"We'll take that", Harden said after Houston's 115-86 loss to the Warriors at Oracle Arena.

This means that bench superstar Eric Gordon will get many of Paul's minutes and will be tasked with picking up the huge second half scoring punch that Paul has produced throughout Houston's wins in this series. But when you have a Warriors' team that dominates the third quarter plus a Houston Rockets that reacts in frustration and loses control to allow a butt-whooping, you get angry and mad.

Though the teams are tied 3-3 through six games of these Western Conference Finals, Houston generally has been the grittier team, the desire and even desperation visible on the faces of its players.

"I feel like we're the best team in the world and most fun team in the world to watch when we're pushing that ball, getting defensive stops and making plays", he said. We know what we have to do.

The Warriors, meanwhile, rebounded from a 4-for-18 first half from long distance with a 12-for-20 finish.

Mike D'Antoni says Chris Paul's recovery is "going good". Some fans feared they wouldn't see one at the beginning of the game. He asked, rhetorically, if the Rockets would take a Game 7 on their home court against the Warriors and, in a heartbeat, D'Antoni acknowledged the benefit of that scenario.