Playing without injured point guard Chris Paul, the Rockets shocked the defending champs with an early burst of four consecutive three-pointers to help produce a 39-22 lead after one quarter.
Klay Thompson was sensational, scoring 21 of his game-high 35 points in the second half, including seven of his nine three-pointers in the contest. And roaring Oracle Arena went insane with hopes of even more home games to come if Golden State can get to a fourth straight finals.
They've looked the part of the hungry challengers, personified by Chris Paul and P.J. Tucker, while the Warriors more often depict the regal champs, basketball royalty epitomized by Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.
"I thought Klay was unbelievable tonight, not just for 35 points and the nine threes, but his defense", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. He told the media that he's still confident that Houston can win Game 7, via ESPN's Tim Macmahon.
Of course, the Warriors have had health issues of their own in the series, with Andre Iguodala having missed Games 4 and 5 with a bruised left knee.
"I don't know if I was born for it, but I definitely worked my butt off to get to this point", Thompson said of his clutch performance in the win over the Rockets, before reconsidering. I was more anxious about the offense coming into the game than the defense. "I used to be so hard on myself, especially early in my career", Thompson said. I also expect CP3 to play, as he's too much of a competitor to sit out a game seven with a finals berth on the line. "It's our job to go out there and have fun with it and do the same thing we've been doing".
Costly turnovers and wildly missed jump shots doomed the Houston Rockets. The Warriors are 16-8 all-time in Game 6 of postseason series.
Some hot long-range shooting from guards Klay Thompson and Steph Curry saw Golden State romp to victory over Houston to level up the NBA's Western Conference finals series. However, Houston is moving forward with the mindset that getting Paul back would be a major bonus.
They've won 26 of their last 32 playoff games regardless of the site, and have a 3-1 record under Kerr in potential elimination games, with the lone loss coming in Game 6 of the 2016 Finals against Cleveland.
"We don't want to just be down on it".
And again, the game is in Houston at the Toyota Center, where the Rockets have gone 2-1 in the series.