Kevin Durant's performance in the Western Conference Finals was record

Chris Paul

The Houston Rockets will look back on their season as a failure after suffering defeat in the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors.

History, bragging rights, and, of course, the 2018 National Basketball Association championship are all on the line once more as the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors rekindle their Finals rivalry in the National Basketball Association.

Rockets guard Eric Gordon, who scored 23 points, said of the impact of Paul's absence, "It sucks because you know you could win this series if we just had one more playmaker".

For a Game 7 road victory that featured a double-digit second half comeback, the game was fairly anticlimactic.

The Golden State Warriors are going back the NBA Finals, which takes away numerous great angles for this column. It's a contradiction of styles that played out to a lesser extent in the Eastern Conference finals between the Cavaliers and Celtics.

The Warriors were slow to start and trailed by 11 points at half-time, but Curry and Kevin Durant soon found their range from the three-point distance.

"Just keeping our composure was big for us the entire series", Curry said.

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"That's what C.P. was so good at in two [of the] games we won", D'Antoni said.

"We're all going to try to paint a picture of there's a chance that Cleveland could win, and when you get to the Finals, and that's really, really hard to picture in your own mind how a team could win, it's a letdown", Van Gundy said.

Still, Curry is widely seen as the impetus for the Warriors and, well, James is the best player in the league for a reason. With his team-leading plus-24 in 38 minutes, the veteran's length, physicality, and ball movement helped the Cavs win Game 7 in Boston.

"We don't even think about that", Harden said of playing without Paul. But the four conference finalists showed that even when the end goal on offense is the same, there are still different ways you can get there.

"That's the conversation I had with T-Lue", Green said. He's not a scorer for us as Chris (Paul) is for Houston, but a huge component. Cleveland won Game 6 comfortably, outscoring the Celtics by 14 points after Love went to the locker room midway through the first quarter. That Cavs' team had Kyrie Irving as their No.2 scorer, and they were facing a Warriors' team that had yet to sign Kevin Durant. The Rockets host the seventh game of the West finals on Monday night.

The statistical website FiveThirtyEight.com figured the odds that Houston would miss the 27 3-pointers it took between makes, factoring in who took the shot, from where the shot was taken and the nearness of a defender.

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