In a season defined by overcoming adversity, the Rockets finally met their match. They lost Game 5 to Golden State 104-90, the night's towering mountain of challenges proving simply too much to climb this time.
The Warriors came out tentative and tight and actually appeared ripe for the picking by Houston. But unfortunately, the Rockets could not capitalize and were undone by poor shooting, terrible rebounding and an absurd amount of turnovers.
The Rockets shot a lowly 35 percent from the field, including just 5-24 from three and were out-rebounded by the Warriors 59-39, including 19-10 on the offensive boards.
But most catastrophic were the 20 Rockets turnovers, 13 of which came from James Harden, in a dubious new NBA playoff record.
Harden also shot only 2-11 from the field for only 14 total points (10 coming from the line) in an egg-laying performance when the Rockets needed him most.
But credit Golden State. They were the better team all year, and they proved it by beating the Rockets in 8 of 9 total games this season.
Dwight Howard led the Rockets with 18 points, 16 rebounds, 2 steals, 4 blocks and even shot 8-13 from the line. He came to play with aggressiveness and power and kept the Rockets afloat throughout the game with his hard play and interior defense.
Corey Brewer pitched in 16 and the Rockets also got 16 from Jason Terry and 15 from Trevor Ariza.
The 2014-2015 season may not have featured the ultimate prize for the Rockets, but 56 wins and a trip to the conference finals still makes it a success.
There will be plenty to say in the coming days about the upcoming offseason and what the Rockets need to get over the hump, but for now, there's just one thing to say: