The Golden State Warriors made a giant statement in Game 3 against the Houston Rockets, as they came away with a 115-80 victory on the road to take a 3-0 series lead.
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Golden State Warriors vs Houston Rockets Game 3: Live stream, Western Conference Finals preview and prediction
The Rockets had given the Warriors a fight in their first two games, which took place at Oracle Arena. Both of these games were decided by four points or less.
That will not earn the Rockets any style points though, as the Warriors are just a win away from reaching the NBA Finals.
Game 2 turned out to be a thriller as the Warriors beat the Rockets, 99-98, despite an incredible effort from Rockets shooting guard James Harden, who scored 38 points.
However, Harden’s play severely regressed in Game 3 as the team seemed to crumble under his struggles. Harden was held to 17 points on 3-of-16 shooting, and he only had three rebounds and four assists.
Harden had scored at least 20 points in every game prior to Game 3, and he averages 27.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game in this series.
His free-throw shooting has also been excellent as he has sunk 92.8 percent of his shots from the charity stripe.
Center Dwight Howard has also had a solid postseason performance as he averages 14 rebounds per game, which leads all players. He even came up with 26 in a game in the first round against the Dallas Mavericks.
However, his scoring has taken a dip against the Warriors, as they held him to seven points in the Rockets’ Game 1 loss.
He averaged 17.7 points per game against the Los Angeles Clippers before his scoring average dropped to 13.3 in the Western Conference Finals.
The Rockets offense will need to bounce back to keep up with the Warriors though, as 80 points will obviously not be enough in an elimination game.
Warriors point guard and MVP Stephen Curry capped off his hot performance in the Western Conference Finals with 40 points in Game 3.
Curry shot 12-for-19 from the field while making 7-of-9 of his three-point shots, and he added five rebounds and seven assists.
The reigning MVP has averaged a whopping 35.7 points per game against the Rockets while nailing 58.1 percent of his three-pointers.
His numbers have bounced back since the Warriors eliminated the Memphis Grizzlies, who held Curry to 24.5 points per game although the MVP was able to reach at least 30 points in two of those games.
Curry’s shooting percentage has also skyrocketed against the Rockets, as they have allowed him to make 61.3 percent of his shots from the field.
His MVP-caliber performance as come at the expense of shooting guard Klay Thompson though, as he has been held to 15.0 points per game while making only 36.7 percent of his shots.
He had scored 25.0 points per game in the first round against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Warriors defense has stepped up big though, as they have held a high-octane Rockets offense to 94.7 points per game.
Power forward Draymond Green and center Andrew Bogut have stepped up in the rebounding department as well. Green averages 11 rebounds per game while Bogut has snagged 10 boards per game in the last two games.
Although the Rockets will be playing Game 4 at home, the Warriors are simply too hot right now to overcome.
They are clearly determined to reach the NBA Finals for a chance at the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are up 3-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals on the heels of a red-hot LeBron James.
Prediction: Warriors 107, Rockets 95