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Rockets vs Warriors Game 4: Houston, You Have a Problem

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NBA Basketball

May 22, 2018 · 9:00 AM PDT

Steph Curry and Draymond Green on the road against the Wizards
Draymond Green and Steph Curry are closing in on their third NBA title. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) CC License
  • Steph Curry returned to his All-World form during Game 3
  • James Harden and Chris Paul need a bounce back performance
  • Golden State will try to stay undefeated at home throughout the playoffs

If Stephen Curry is indeed back to the devastating force he displayed in Game 3, then consider it situation critical for the Houston Rockets, who will try to even the best-of-seven Western Conference Final against the Warriors on Tuesday, May 22nd in the Bay Area.

Curry, who has been the target of the Rockets’ offensive scheme as the weak link of the Golden State defense, finally showed the brilliance that makes him the most explosive scorer in the NBA.

Steph Curry went nuclear – catching fire like a video game come to life.

When the third quarter started, the Rockets were trailing by 11, a significant but still tenable deficit to work down. Then the two-time MVP went nuclear – catching fire like a video game come to life.

Dealing with THAT Steph is bad enough, but it’s not like the rest of the Warriors were just watching. Kevin Durant was still in beast mode. He’s a machine-like scorer that hasn’t cooled all postseason.

When he’s cooking and gets decent support, Golden State usually rolls. But when Durant gets a teammate’s A-game? His scoring ability then looks positively cruel. The end result was a 41-point evisceration of the opposition, the most lopsided playoff “L” hung on the Rockets in their franchise history.

Speaking of stars, the Rockets’ duo of James Harden and Chris Paul went from dropping bombs in Game 2 to firing a pop gun in Game 3. Harden put up a modest 20 points on 7-for-16 from the field, while Paul had just 13 points on 5-for-16 shooting. Combined, the two were minus-37 on the floor Sunday. Then again, not one player on the entire Rockets roster registered a plus-rating in their time on the court.

Rockets vs Warriors Team Playoff Stats

OFFENSE

Rockets
VS
Warriors

109.6 Offensive Rating 111.1
108.7 Points 111.8
20.5 Assists 27.2
44.9 Field-Goal Percentage 47.7
35.4 Three-Point Percentage 33.8
+4.8 Plus/Minus +9.2

DEFENSE

Rockets
VS
Warriors

106.0 Defensive Rating 100.5
103.9 Points 102.6
+1.1 Rebounding Differential +3.6
-3.3 Turnover Differential -0.1
46.9 Field-Goal Percentage 43.6
37.8 Three-Point Percentage 33.0
44.2 Points In The Paint 40.5

Head-to-Head Results

Date Location Score Winner
May 20 (Game 3 WCF) GS 126-85 GS
May 16 (Game 2 WCF) HOU 127-105 HOU
May 14 (Game 1 WCF) HOU 119-106 GS
Jan. 20 HOU 116-108 HOU
Jan. 4 HOU 124-114 GS
Oct. 17 GS 122-121 HOU

Notable Injuries and Absences

Rockets Warriors
No injuries No injuries

 Game 4 Moneyline Pick: Rockets (124-118)

This series has been all about making or missing, and it’s the magical 50-40 plateau that’s been the demarcation line. In Golden State’s two wins, they’ve shot better than 50% from the field, and better than 40% from beyond the arc.

In their lone win, Houston was better than 50% from the field, and out shot the Warriors from deep at a 38.1% clip.

Houston will need its best performance, which will include cutting down on turnovers – where they’ve averaged 16 a game in their losses. Conversely, the Rockets will want to turn up the defensive intensity and force turnovers out of the Warriors. Golden State had fewer than ten turnovers in each of their wins, while coughing it up 15 times in their Game 2 loss.

This Warriors team is a wrecking ball at home in these playoffs, undefeated in seven games, while averaging 115 points per contest.

This is the type of game the Rockets were built to steal, a roster created with the sole purpose of outscoring the Warriors, by simply taking and making more threes.

We’ll find out Tuesday if they can shoot their way out of their problems.

Team Trends

Rockets Warriors
Houston is 34-12 SU on the road Golden State is 36-12 SU at home
Houston is 7-3 SU in its last ten games Golden State is 7-3 SU in its last ten games
Houston is 2-6 SU as an underdog Golden State is 66-21 SU as a favorite
Houston is 9-11-0 ATS after a loss Golden State is 25-41-1 ATS after a win
Houston is 48-46-1 ATS this season (51.1%) Golden State is 40-54-1 ATS this season (42.5%)
Houston is 27-19-0 ATS on the road Golden State is 19-28-1 ATS at home

See the current odds for every game during the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

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