The Houston Rockets had a win-lose kind of night on Thursday, but it is the win that is being talked about much more, as they have the Golden State Warriors on the brink of elimination. Eric Gordon came off the bench to lead the way with 24 points, as the Rockets held off the Warriors in Game 5, 98-94, for a 3-2 series lead in the Western Conference Finals. For the second straight game, the Warriors struggled to make the go-ahead shot down the stretch, despite the Rockets losing Chris Paul to an injury in the final minute. Paul went down after falling short on a floater attempt and exited the game for good. He has already been ruled out for Game 6 at Oracle Arena with a hamstring injury, which is one of many ailments that has forced him to the sidelines this season. On the bright side for Houston, they are now one win away from reaching their first NBA Finals since winning back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995. On the other side, this is just the first Game-5 loss for the Warriors since they suffered one in the second round of the 2015 playoffs. Kevin Durant had 29 points in Thursday's loss, which oddly enough does not have head coach Steve Kerr worried at all. Kerr said in his postgame press conference that he likes the position his team is in, despite being a loss away from missing the Finals for the first time since 2014. The Rockets were able to seal the game with free throws in the final seconds, but will have a big obstacle to face without their point guard. They are hoping to avoid returning home for a Game 7 when they head back to Oakland for Game 6 on Saturday night.
Astros Pull Away From Indians in Cleveland
The Houston Astros have not at all slowed down from last season's World Series win, and are trying to create some distance in a tough AL West Division. They earned a quality win over a fellow first-place team on the road Thursday night, by taking down the Cleveland Indians, 8-2, at Progressive Field. Charlie Morton improved to 7-0 on the season by throwing six innings of two-run baseball and striking out five. He was supported by home runs from Alex Bregman and Jake Marisnick, the first of which was a three-run shot that gave Houston the lead after they fell behind, 2-0. Morton now leads the American League with his seven wins, as he extended his personal-best win streak to 10 games, and hasn't lost since September 9th, 2017 against the Oakland Athletics. The one blemish on his line for Thursday was a two-run single off the bat of Michael Brantley in the third inning. Mike Clevinger suffered his second loss of the year, despite getting off to a fast start, as the long ball haunted him from holding the early lead. He ended up allowing five runs over 5.1 innings in the defeat. Brantley's two-run hit bumped his average up to .338, which is good for second in the American League, as he now has a 13-game hitting streak. All of this success comes after he began the season on the disabled list following ankle surgery last October. These two teams have three more contests this weekend, including on Friday night.
Nimmo, Mets Earn Shutout Win Over Brewers
The New York Mets' hot start to their season seems to be long in the past, especially with the NL East holding four teams with records above .500. They did earn an impressive road win over the first-place Milwaukee Brewers, 5-0, on Thursday night at Miller Park. Brandon Nimmo had a big night, reaching base five times and going 4-for-4 and scoring twice to power the Mets' offense. That was enough to back up Steven Matz, who threw six shutout innings for his second win of the year. The 25-year-old Nimmo's four hits are a career-high, as he raised his major league-leading on-base percentage to .450 on the season. His big night included a triple and two doubles, as he has now reached base in eight consecutive plate appearances, dating back to their previous game. Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores each drove in two on the night, while Matz recorded his longest outing of the young season. Both of his wins have come against the Brewers, with the first taking place at Citi Field. Devin Mesoraco also drove in a run for the Mets, who knocked around Brewers starter Zach Davies, handing the right-hander his fourth loss of the year. Paul Sewald and Jacob Rhame combined for three shutout innings out of the bullpen to complete the victory for the Mets, who will be in Milwaukee for three more games this weekend.