D'Antoni on Chris Paul: 'There's just no way'

NBA Playoffs Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors

Open thread game seven: Houston Rockets versus Golden State Warriors

Check out this end of game action in this Fantastic Finish.

The Rockets built double-digit halftime leads in Games 6 and 7, but the Golden State Warriors rallied on both occasions to eliminate Houston and advance to their fourth straight Finals.

The MVP frontrunner promptly got skewered on social media for the perceived lack of sportsmanship. "So for us that's our challenge to have the same mentality we had for the last 36 minutes of (Game 6) and bring that from the jump in Game 7". Elie played with the Houston Rockets from 1993 until 1998.

Getty Draymond Green and the Warriors are a win away from their fourth straight trip to the Finals. The Los Angeles Lakers were 12-point favorites over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of the 2001 Finals, a game won by the Sixers. "We knew it was a long shot", D'Antoni said.

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Their early lead provided even more false security for a team that already had to work without Paul in Games 6 and 7; that right hamstring strain suffered in the final minute of the Rockets' Game 5 win ending his season prematurely.

Neither heart nor Harden nor game contributions from Clint Capela (20 points and nine rebounds), Eric Gordon (23 points) and P.J. Tucker (14 points and 12 rebounds) were quite enough for a team that, in the very frank words of its general manager Daryl Morey, have always been "obsessed" with toppling the Warriors. Harden shot 36.7 percent from 3-point range during the regular season, but he's shooting an abysmal 26.2 percent from long range during the series, and that number includes a 5-for-9 performance in Game 1.

The Warriors came from behind in the second half to beat the Rockets by 9 Monday night, winning 101-92.

James Harden, who had 22 points in the first half on Saturday night but just 10 the rest of the way, insists that the Rockets remain confident despite the blowout loss and are up to Monday's challenge. Why did they stop attacking the basket after the first half?

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He might not enjoy this position, but he's pretty good in it. "Now, we're facing elimination and we're going back home". Each contest has held true to the same basic formula of the home team dominating and winning comfortably.

"We should have won tonight", Rockets general manager Daryl Morey told ESPN.

"I'll be good, though", he said.

From 1980 through 1989, the Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers played in the Finals every season, but never more than twice consecutively against each other.

The Rockets tied the Raptors for best home record in the National Basketball Association during the regular season by going 34-7. Houston kept firing threes despite missing consistently.

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