- According to a report, Stephen Curry made practice reservations on the Houston Rockets court the night before Game 6, but Chris Paul got wind of it and prevented Curry from practicing.
- After Curry scored 33 points to help the Warriors eliminate the Rockets on Friday, several Warriors reportedly taunted Paul behind the scenes.
- The Warriors praised the Rockets for being a worthy challenger, but ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said he believes there is “real animosity” between the Warriors and Paul.
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Stephen Curry scored 33 points in the second half of Game 6 on Friday to help the Golden State Warriors eliminate the Houston Rockets and advance to the Western Conference Finals.
Curry’s second-half explosion was remarkable considering he was scoreless in the first half, continuing what had been a nightmare series for him to that point.
According to The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson, Curry’s cold start in Game 6 may have been the result of some gamesmanship from Chris Paul, who altered Curry’s schedule before the game.
According to Thompson, Curry had reserved practice time on the Rockets court on Thursday night from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Paul reportedly got wind of it and went to the arena to deny Curry’s practice time. From Thompson:
“On the night before Friday’s Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals, after arriving from the Bay Area, Curry wanted to get some shots up at Toyota Center. The Warriors’ do-it-all manager, Eric Housen, booked the court from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. so Curry could work on his shot. Somehow, Rockets guard Chris Paul got wind. He decided to go to Toyota Center to get shots up, nixing Curry’s reservations. The Warriors’ point guard offered to stick to half a court, but Paul wasn’t having it. Curry was kicked off the Toyota Center court.”
According to Thompson, after the Warriors beat the Rockets, Curry yelled to Draymond Green, “Kick me off the court again, boy!” Green replied, “Kick him off! Kick him off!”
Thompson’s report coincides with what ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported on “SportsCenter” after Game 6. Windhorst said the Warriors locker room was rowdy after eliminating the Rockets, and the players were making fun of Paul.
“As the players were going into the locker room, quite a few were bringing up Chris Paul’s name, and it wasn’t always in the greatest of light,” Windhorst said. “I think there is a real animosity.”
Despite the reported trash talk behind the scenes, the Warriors were also effusive in their praise of the Rockets, perhaps the team that has challenged them the most in recent years.
“That team was one of the best teams we played during this five-year run,” head coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “They put so much pressure on you at both ends of the floor. It’s a tremendous two-way basketball team … I can’t speak any more highly of Houston and their grit and their competitiveness and their talent.”
Though the Warriors playing short-handed, with Durant sidelined with a calf injury, the Rockets couldn’t overcome the reigning champs. Giving Curry extra motivation might not have helped.
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