- 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
|44.2||Points In The Paint||40.5|
|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|
Notable Injuries and Absences
|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.
|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|