May 23, 2018
Game 3 in Oracle started as exciting as it could with Houston attacking the paint and Steph Curry at will. But the Warriors also came to play matching the offensive onslaught for much of the opening minutes of the game. Alley oops, creative layups, and three balls were the theme of the game in the opening quarter, and neither team shot the ball poorly. This is the kind of game we all expected, but unfortunately, it would not last. The energy that the Warriors played with was outstanding, and the first true example of this is when Andre Iguodala followed his miss with a ferocious put back on two Houston defenders. The Warriors established the pace, and by the beginning of the second quarter the Warriors were up by more then 10. Offensive rebounding lead to a plethora of second chance points for both teams, but it was clear the Warriors were here to play. The game was closely contested, but the Warriors continued to establish themselves as the more energetic and physical team. Kevin Durant was masterful, knocking down threes, driving to the well, and most importantly he facilitated, and this helped awaken the two-time MVP Steph Curry. He started with a layup in the third and would not look back, pulling deep step back threes with ease. The three-point line is big for both teams, but the Warriors truly used it to their advantage. Chris Paul tried to ignite the Rockets by knocking down a couple of three-point in the third shots but it was not enough to slow the Warriors. The Rockets were officially put to bed by the defending champions when Shaun Livingston crossed Harden with a sham god behind the back combo to back scratching dunk that had my grandmother wake from her sleep to scream. It was the Curry show on Sunday, and the reemergence of his game was far too much to handle for the Rockets. Again, the benches would clear and the Warriors would obtain the NBA record for most consecutive home playoff wins in a row while also dismantling the Houston Rockets by 41 points with the final score of 126-85.
When Stephen Curry is loose, energetic, and encouraged, it makes this team almost unbeatable on any night. It is honestly too much star power to handle. With KD and Steph playing to their capabilities, it’s almost a guaranteed 60 points for your team. This allows players like Klay Thompson and Shun Livingston to let the game find them instead of them seeking their buckets, and although they didn’t hit on a consistent basis on Sunday, they made timely shots to discourage the Rockets which inevitably lead to one of the largest playoff margins in NBA history. James Harden and Chris Paul started the game 3-14 and did not finish too well either with a 12-32 shooting performance for the game. Bad play from star players can be overcame by other players on the team but turning the ball over 20 times against a Warriors team of this caliber will not. The Warriors were able to get 28 points from turnovers compared to only 8 for the Rockets. Numbers don’t lie, and the Rockets will not win with this formula. I expect more out of the probable MVP, much more, and if they want to even the series at two a piece, James Harden must give everything he has.
I may have been wrong with who won the game in my previous prediction, but Stephen Curry did play outstanding and Klay did shoot poorly. I think it is time for Klay to shine, in which he will deliver a 25+ point game, hitting over 6 threes for the game. But, I think we will see a vintage James Harden MVP type game (30+ points 10+ rebound and 10+ assists) to lead the Rockets to a very closely contested game that will be in the Rockets favor. Make sure to have your umbrella when watching the game because I believe that this game will be raining threes, and at a very high rate at that.
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