Rockets have edge? 'Our guys have rings,' Warriors coach Steve Kerr says

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In 10 playoff games, he's averaging 13.1 points, 11.5 rebounds and 9.0 assists, all of which are significantly higher than his regular-season production (11.0, 7.6, 7.3). The old Rockets didn't play defense and never were a real threat.

"It's just fun", he said. The entity has the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers on a collision course to meet in the finals for the fourth straight season.

Paul, who scored 20 points in the fourth quarter, totaled seven rebounds with 10 assists (with no turnovers) in the clinching victory. The road to do so goes through top-seeded Houston this year, a team that features a star point guard (Chris Paul) and head coach (Mike D'Antoni) bent on making their first Finals appearance.

"Unhappy with the results, but happy with everybody as a whole", Mitchell said.

The NBA Finals start May 31. It was a formula built to stop Golden State, but one that also took care of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Jazz in five games each.

While the Rockets took a minute Tuesday night to appreciate what they've done so far, they were quick to point out that they're far from finished chasing their goals this season. Paul had always been a master of mid-range jumpers and point guard post-ups.

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Joe Ingles made a basket for Utah before Paul added another basket to make it 107-98. Rubio has missed the entire series with his injury, and Exum was injured in the third quarter of Game 5.

Golden State seemed to answer any questions about their ability to get back to the finals in the second round, as well. Excluding Paul and Tucker, Houston shot 5 of 22 on 3-pointers.

Like the Rockets, the Warriors easily advanced to the Western Conference Finals after eliminating the New Orleans Pelicans in just five games. The Rockets scored 114.6 points per 100 possessions, the 11th highest since 1979-80, the first year the National Basketball Association adopted the three-point line, while shooting 46 percent from the field and 36 percent behind the arc, giving them an effective field goal rate of 55.1 percent, the ninth-highest over that span and second highest in 2017-18 after the Warriors. The Bulls did so from April 27, 1990, to May 21, 1991.

Along the way came two more meetings between these teams in January, with Golden State winning the first and Houston winning the second.

The Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors wrapped up their conference semifinals series Tuesday to set up a showdown in the Western Conference finals. He could win rookie of the year, but the odds are it will go to Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers. So to win this series, the Warriors will have to be mindful of those things and bring a level of physicality to the series. Houston having home-court advantage in this series only bolsters their ominousness.

Golden State will trot out a veritable All-Star team when the series begins as Steph Curry has returned to the lineup after being sidelined with an MCL sprain in his left knee throughout the opening round against San Antonio.

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