LATE THURSDAY: Rockets 95, Warriors 92

Chris Paul’s grit and veteran leadership have pushed the Golden State Warriors to the brink of elimination.

Now the Houston Rockets will try to take one last step to the NBA Finals without him.

Eric Gordon came off the bench to score 24 points and his steal on Golden State’s last possession secured a 98-94 victory Thursday night that gave the Rockets a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference Finals. But the victory came with a cost, as Paul had to leave the game in the final minute with a right hamstring injury that will keep him out of Game 6.

The Rockets say Paul will be re-evaluated after the team returns to Houston following Game 6.

The Rockets head to Oakland for Game 6 on Saturday night a win away from knocking off the defending champions and advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since winning back-to-back titles in 1994-95.

Kevin Durant scored 29 points for the Warriors, who lost in Game 5 of a playoff series for just the second time since 2015. Just like the Cavaliers in the East, a run of three consecutive trips to the championship round is on the verge of possibly ending.

“We haven’t been in this position before ... so it’s a chapter we need to figure out and finish the story,” Stephen Curry said.

The Rockets won a second consecutive defensive struggle between the two potent offenses, leaving the Warriors a loss from missing the NBA Finals for the first time since 2014.

Draymond Green made a 3-pointer with just over a minute left to get Golden State within one. Harden, who was 0-for-11 on 3s, missed his last one with less than 30 seconds left, giving the Warriors the ball back.

Curry missed a floater and Trevor Ariza grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 10 seconds left. But he made just one of two free throws to give the Warriors another chance. But Gordon came up with his steal when Green lost control in the lane and added two free throws with 2.4 seconds left.

Green was asked what was supposed to happen on the play.

“We was supposed to score,” he said. “I lost the ball ... not much more to it than that.”

Harden scoffed at a reporter who questioned him about his struggles from long range in the last two games, where he’s gone a combined 3-for-22.

“Who cares,” he said. “I’m just missing shots, but we’re winning.”