Rockets have Warriors’ backs to the wall

If the Golden State Warriors are going to make it back to their fourth straight NBA Finals, they’ve got some work to do.

Down to the Houston Rockets 3-2 in the Western Conference finals, that work begins with Game 6 on Saturday night in Oakland.

Once in control of the series at 2-1, the defending champions have lost two straight.

First they saw their 16-game postseason home winning streak come to an end with 95-92 loss in Game 4, followed by a 98-94 road loss in Game 5 on Thursday night.

They lost those games despite strong performances from Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry and will need to either play better defense or tap back into the offensive game plan that saw them briefly snatch away home-court advantage earlier in the season.

Houston, on the other hand, will be hoping for a better shooting performance from MVP finalist James Harden, who scored only 19 points in Game 5 while shooting 0-for-11 from 3-point range.

The Rockets will also have to win another game in Oakland despite missing Chris Paul, who suffered a strained right hamstring late in Game 5.

Replacing him in the lineup will be fellow veteran guard Eric Gordon, who scored 24 points off the bench Thursday night and helped seal the victory with a steal on the Warriors’ last possession of the game.

If the Warriors win Saturday night, a decisive Game 7 would be played Monday in Houston.