The Houston Rockets return home for Game 3 on Saturday desperately hoping to avoid falling into a 3-0 hole in the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
Where: Toyota Center, Houston.
When: Sunday May 24, 02:00 (UK time)
Watch live: Click here to watch on BT Sport online!
It hasn’t been easy for the Warriors given that they won by four points in the first meeting before desperately holding on in Game 2 to win by one point with James Harden being dispossessed on the final play with a chance to win the game.
Stephen Curry has scored 34 and 33 points respectively in those two meetings while making 11 3-pointers, as although Harden continues to match him in their individual battle, the Rockets can’t quite the better of their rivals as a group.
What is becoming clear is that this match-up between the top two seeds in the West will be about making runs, and then who is able to stay consistent and get stops in order to stay ahead.
The Warriors were up by as many as 17 points on Thursday night before a big run from the Rockets got them back into it, only for the visitors to fall heartbreakingly short of picking up a crucial road win.
However, they need to forget about that quickly and focus on protecting their home court, as ultimately if they don’t turn up over the next two games then they will be staying in Houston and not returning to San Francisco for a Game 5.
The expectation is that the Rockets will win at least one home game over the course of the next two meetings, but whether or not it is this one remains to be seen.
It is also worth noting that Dwight Howard overcame his knee injury to put up 19 points and 17 rebounds in another impressive performance last time out, but again it means little in the bigger picture if Houston can’t get the win.
Prediction: Warriors win. The Rockets will strike back in Game 4, but given that the Warriors are shooting better from beyond the arc and will look to cut down on their turnovers on Saturday, they have what it takes to continue to take a commanding lead in this series.