The Houston Rockets have shown this season that they are not intimidated of the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors, and Chris Paul let that be known after leading his team to another win over its Western Conference rival on Saturday.
Houston staved off a late comeback attempt from the Warriors to win 118-112. It was the third time the Rockets have emerged victorious in three meetings between the teams this season, and Paul wasn’t exactly quiet about it. He took a shot at Andre Iguodala after the game.
“What did [Andre Iguodala] say about the series last year? If he would have played, they would have swept us? Then he must be the X-factor,” Paul told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “That’s the punchline you needed, right?”
The Rockets had a 3-2 series lead over the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals last year, but they ended up losing the series after Paul was unable to suit up in Game 6 and Game 7 because of a hamstring injury. Houston players couldn’t help but feel like they would have made it to the NBA Finals if Paul didn’t get hurt, though Steve Kerr and others on the Golden State side had a much different opinion, as Iguodala also missed several games in the series with an injury.
Regular season games mean very little in the grand scheme of things, but the Rockets should have plenty of confidence if they face Golden State again in the postseason. As long as CP3 can remain healthy, they’ll have as good a shot as any team of knocking off the NBA’s best.