Warriors Head into Conference Finals as NBA Title Odds Favorites

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In one of the defining performances of his career, Paul carried the Rockets down the stretch in Game 5 against a feisty Utah Jazz team. After Houston forged an 11-point lead on two Clint Capela free throws at the 7:16 mark, Mitchell ignited a 12-0 run with a step-back jumper, a layup through a foul, and an assist on a corner 3 by Burks. Gonzalez tweeted back to Acevedo.

Houston will meet the victor of the series between Golden State and New Orleans, which the Warriors lead 3-1.

The mouth-watering match-up is set, but Draymond Green, emotional lynchpin of the reigning National Basketball Association champion Golden State Warriors, says it will be business as usual against a Houston Rockets team created to dethrone them. The Rockets have a monumental challenge ahead to take out the Warriors.

"It's the only thing we think about", Morey said on ESPN Radio's The Ryen Russillo Show on Thursday. As Paul scored his 39th point, the Rockets' win well in hand by then, a crestfallen Mitchell was delivered from an examination in the tunnel back to the bench in a cart.

That is the challenge in front of the Rockets, who won a league-best 65 games this season, have the likely MVP in James Harden and are still considered a significant underdog in the Western Conference finals. Kevin Durant is averaging 28 points and eight rebounds while Stephen Curry is averaging 24.5 points and 3.5 assists. In this picture, Former NBA player and commentator Barkley looks on prior to the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four National Championship game between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, April 4, 2016. Each team picked up a win on the road. Capela will be a huge factor in this series as he will be able to give the Rockets second chance points, which they will need to match up with Warriors offense.

In finals matchup odds, a fourth consecutive Cavaliers-Warriors matchup has the top prop at +345.

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The former Rockets and Suns star admitted the Rockets duo will struggle to combine their offensive brilliance they have displayed throughout this season and defensive strength when they come up against the "Splash Brothers".

Teams use the playoff pool largely for bonuses for players and staff after the season.

In terms of style, the Rockets and Warriors took the best from the revolutionary Suns. "I don't know what it's supposed to feel like, but we've still got a lot of work to do". It will only be the seventh game this season in which the Warriors have been the underdogs.

2014-15: Warriors defeat Rockets 4-1 in Western Conference Finals. Throw in long, lanky perimeter defenders such as Mbah a Moute, Tucker and Trevor Ariza to throw at Durant - not to mention bomb away from 3-point range the other end.

"We played (the Rockets) in the conference finals in '15, and he was Dwight (Howard's) backup", Kerr said.

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