Warriors-Rockets series: Who takes home the Western Conference crown?

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The reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors face the top-seeded Rockets in the Western Conference Finals series. So how will each team fare in this showdown? Watch the video player above for a conversation with ABC7's Larry Beil and Greg Bailey, the sports director at our sister station KTRK in Houston.

The reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors face the top-seeded Rockets in the Western Conference Finals series.

So how will each team fare in this showdown? Watch the video player above for a conversation with ABC7's Larry Beil and Greg Bailey, the sports director at our sister station KTRK in Houston.

Here's what else you can look for in the Rockets-Warriors series:

CURRY FACTOR
Stephen Curry certainly feels back to his spot-on self with the swagger that goes with those dazzling drives and way-back 3-pointers.

Curry returned from being sidelined with a sprained left knee to play the final four games of a five-game semifinal series against New Orleans. The two-time MVP scored 28 points on 10-for-16 shooting in his most minutes yet since the March 23 injury - 37 - in the Game 5 clincher last Tuesday night.

His minutes have increased each game he plays and he was 32 for 67 with 15 3s in the Pelicans series.

HOUSTON'S X-FACTOR
While the spotlight for Houston in this series is certainly MVP front-runner James Harden and fellow point guard Chris Paul, the Rockets insist that center Clint Capela is just as important to their success.

"Everybody always wants to point out me and James, but he's the X-factor," Paul said.

Houston is 50-5 this season in games where all three have played, and during the regular season the Rockets outscored their opponents in those games by an average of 11.5 points.

D'Antoni believes the 6-foot-10 Capela's ability to switch on guards as well as defend in the paint will be a key in this series.

"It's a must that you have to have (someone like him) against Golden State or they're going to get you," he said.

"This will help. They're still going to get us to a certain degree, but hopefully we can lessen it more than if we just had a traditional center that can't guard on the perimeter."

THE CHAMPS ARE THE CHAMPS
Sure, the Warriors might not be the top dogs in the West from the regular season.

They still have the hardware.

Paul has never reached a conference final and neither James Harden nor D'Antoni has a championship either. Kevin Durant captured his first title last season while winning Finals MVP honors.

Golden State's other three All-Stars - Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson - has a pair of championships from the past three seasons.

"I like where we are," Kerr said. "Our guys have rings. That's a good position to be in. To me the hardest championship is the first one, as an individual player or as a team because you don't know. You don't quite know if you can do it.

"Once you get the first one, there's a little bit of house money, but you want it again because it's an unbelievable feeling. I like our position. We're going to go in here knowing we're the defending champs, knowing we've got a couple championships here the last few years. Let's go get another one."

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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sportsHouston RocketsGolden State Warriorsnba playoffsNBAu.s. & worldHoustonOakland
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