OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors understand that they have to win one more game over the LA Clippers to advance to the Western Conference semifinals, but the group also knows that a showdown with the Houston Rockets awaits if and when they do.
"They're a great team," Warriors swingman Klay Thompson said after Tuesday's practice. "They got two Hall of Fame guards in the backcourt [in James Harden and Chris Paul], and everyone else has carved out a nice role. We've had a ton of history with them in the last five years of the playoffs. I know they're just itching to get another shot at us, and that's when, when two teams meet like that, when the stakes are that high, it makes for the best basketball in the world."
Thompson's comments come on the heels of Sunday's postgame interview with ESPN's Lisa Salters, in which he noted that the Warriors were hoping to close out their series against the Clippers as soon as possible -- after blowing a 31-point second-half lead in Game 2 -- because the Warriors knew the Rockets were on the verge of sweeping the Utah Jazz and getting extra rest. After the Jazz extended their series with a Game 4 win on Monday, both the Rockets and Warriors have a chance to close out their series on Wednesday in Game 5s.
"It's really not hard at all," Warriors guard Stephen Curry said of focusing on the Clippers, not the impending Rockets series. "At the end of the day, we know what Houston's about. We know what Utah's about and their styles of play. At this point, there isn't anything really different jumping off the TV, but coming to practice, we lock in and focus and get ready for the game [Wednesday], hopefully take care of business. It's kind of ingrained in our routines and our mindsets as we've been through so many different experiences in the playoffs. You know how to pace yourself and stay locked in on the task at hand while still having an awareness of what's going on throughout the league."
Curry said he has been keeping up with all the playoff games just like he normally would.
"You watch every game," Curry said. "You understand what's going on. You may not be as in tune, like focused on the details, but I like watching basketball in general, so it doesn't matter really who's on. Just understanding we got to focus on getting four wins now against the Clippers and go from there, but as a fan of basketball, I turn on every game."
The good news for the Warriors is that forward Draymond Green will play in Game 5 after undergoing an MRI on his right wrist. Green was seen leaving Staples Center in a wrist brace after Game 4, but Kerr didn't seem concerned that the injury will have any impact on the defensive star moving forward.
"He's fine," Kerr said. "He had an MRI, and it was clear, and he practiced fully today, so he's fine."
As for injured center DeMarcus Cousins, he was back at the Warriors' facility with his teammates on Tuesday as he continues the rehab process for a torn left quad. Cousins suffered the injury during Game 2 of the series, and Kerr noted that it is "highly unlikely" he returns before the season ends.
"We'll see what happens in a few weeks," Kerr said. "Once we have a better sense of healing and his ability to maybe get on the court, maybe, who knows? But at this point, conservatively, I would say it's highly unlikely [he returns]."