HOUSTON – The Rockets and the Warriors are not strangers when it comes to high-leverage playoff matchups.
Houston has been booted from the playoffs by Golden State in two of the last three seasons.
The Rockets lost 4-1 to the Warriors in the Western Conference finals in the 2014-15 season and 4-1 to Golden State the following season in the Western Conference semifinals.
In 2015, Houston beat the Mavericks in five games and then the Clippers, with Chris Paul, in seven games to reach the conference finals against the Warriors. Houston trailed Los Angeles 3-1 in the series before pulling off the improbable comeback.
The Rockets finished the 2014-15 season with a 56-26 regular-season record. The team was coached by Kevin McHale and finished atop the Southwest Division.
Here's a look back at the last time the Rockets and the Warriors played each other in the Western Conference finals, in 2015.
The Rockets came up short in Game 1 of the conference finals on May 19, 2015, at Oracle Arena. Golden State won 110-106 to take the 1-0 series lead.
Houston led the Warriors 31-24 after the first quarter, but the Warriors answered with a 34-24 win in the second to take a 58-55 halftime lead.
The second half was highly contested, but the Rockets had no answer for the Warriors down the stretch.
Houston tied the game at 95-95 and then again at 97-97 with 5 1/2 minutes remaining, but Golden State responded with 11 straight points to take control of the game. Houston wouldn't score again until there were just under two minutes remaining in the game.
James Harden led the Rockets with 28 points. Trevor Ariza chipped in 20 and Josh Smith posted 17 points. Dwight Howard finished the game with 7 points and 13 rebounds.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 34 points. Draymond Green posted 13 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists and Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes and Shaun Livingston all scored in double digits.
Houston lost Game 2 in Oakland 99-98 to fall into a two-game deficit in the conference finals.
The game was played May 21, 2015, at Oracle Arena.
In the tightest game in the series, the score was tied at halftime and the Warriors outscored the Rockets 44-43 in the second half to seal the win.
Houston trailed 99-92 with just over a minute remaining in the game, but scored six straight points to make it a 1-point game with 33 seconds left in the game. Barnes missed a shot with about eight seconds left and Harden got the rebound, but the Rockets were not able to get off a shot attempt at the end of the game, leaving the Rockets with an uphill battle the rest of the series.
Harden led the way for Houston again, recording 38 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists on a 13-for-21 shooting performance. He made three 3-pointers and nine free throws. Howard posted 19 points and 17 rebounds. Smith, with 10, and Terrence Jones, with 12, were the only other Rockets players to score in double digits.
Curry led the way for the Warriors, scoring 33 points and dishing out six assists. Green posted another near-triple-double with 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Thompson, with 13, and Andrew Bogut, with 14, were the other double-digit scorers for Golden State.
The Rockets were blown out in Game 3 of the series, 115-80, on May 23, 2015.
It was the first game at Toyota Center and Houston never had a chance, trailing 62-37 at halftime.
The Warriors scored at least 30 points in the first three quarters.
Curry led all scorers with 40 points. Green scored 17 points and pulled in 13 rebounds. Thompson scored 17.
Harden scored 16 points and Howard chipped in 14 points and 14 rebounds.
This was a forgettable game in Houston sports history lore.
The lone win for the Rockets came in Game 4 at Toyota Center on May 25, 2015. It was a wire-to-wire victory, as Houston never trailed in the game.
Houston scorched Golden State with 45 first-quarter points en route to a 128-115 win on May 25, 2018.
The Rockets led 19-3 with just over seven minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Green, with 2, Thompson, with 24, and Curry, with 23, all scored at least 20 points for Golden State. Green hauled in 15 rebounds as well.
Harden went off for 45 points and nine rebounds. Howard scored 14 and pulled in 12 rebounds. Smith scored 20, Jones scored 14 and Jason Terry scored 10 points and had six rebounds and four assists.
The last game of the Rockets' season was a 14-point loss on May 27, 2015, in Oakland.
The Warriors eliminated the Rockets with a 104-90 win.
Houston led after the first quarter, but Golden State responded by taking a 6-point lead into the half. Houston was held to 44 second-half points while Golden State scored 30 in the fourth quarter alone.
In the historic turnover game, Harden scored 14 points, but had 12 turnovers. Howard scored 18 and hauled in 16 rebounds.
Curry, with 26, Barnes, with 24, and Thompson, with 20, all scored at least 20 points. Thompson hit four 3-pointers and Green pulled in 13 rebounds. Bogut had 14 rebounds.