Rockets hope to carry momentum in Game 7 against Clippers
HOUSTON (AP) — Forcing a Game 7 in the Western Conference semifinals with a comeback win over the Los Angeles Clippers, the Houston Rockets have evoked memories of their teams that won NBA titles in 1994 and ’95.
One more win on Sunday will put them in the conference finals for the first since 1997 against a Clippers team that has never reached the conference finals.
The visiting Rockets outscored Los Angeles 51-20 at the end of the third and in the fourth quarter on Thursday to overcome a 19-point deficit and even up the series after trailing 3-1.
Houston coach Kevin McHale, who won three championships in a Hall of Fame career with the Boston Celtics, said there wasn’t any magic formula to winning on Sunday. The Rockets simply have to remember why they play the game.
“It’s Game 7. It’s fun man,” McHale said. “That’s what you live for ... there’s a joy and a calm that comes over you when you do something really, really well and you’re doing something you’ve done since you’ve been a little kid.”
The Clippers are in the semifinals for the third time in four years, and are looking to end the two-game skid to advance to meet the Golden State Warriors.
“We’ve had two opportunities and we haven’t closed it out,” Blake Griffin said. “You have to give them credit, they’ve been playing better than us the last two games and wanted it more clearly. So we’ve got an opportunity and we’ve got to take advantage.”