The Houston Rockets will look to avoid going down three games to none against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday. The Rockets will at least have home court advantage, but a lingering question will be how bad the cut on James Harden’s eye is?
The success of the Rockets in these playoffs sit pretty heavily on the shoulders of Harden. Chris Paul is still good, but he is by no means the type of player that can carry an NBA team to a championship anymore. Houston fans need Harden to get scalding hot and for the Warriors to start drastically struggling.
Houston is favored at a -3.5 line thanks to having home court. They have played the Warriors close so far in the two games this series. The first game they fell 104-100, and then 115-109 in Game 3. Despite basically playing blind out of one eye Harden shot 9 of 19 and finished with 29 points.
Warriors Squeaking By
Kevin Durant saw Harden’s 29 points and decided to match it with 29 points of his own. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were able to aid Durant’s performance by combining for 41 points. The “Splash Brothers” combined to shoot 6 of 22 from 3-point, but the Warriors still managed to escape with the victory to go up 2-0.
Draymond Green snatched a team-high 12 rebounds to go along with 15 points and seven assists. Greens 12 rebounds were a game-high as well. It was reported that Green dropped some weight earlier in the season and it has shown in his playoff performance thus far.
While Harden deals with a nasty cut in his eye, Curry is dealing with a nasty looking dislocated finger that he suffered in Game 2. Neither players are expected to miss any sort of time, though that doesn’t come as much of a shock considering it’s the playoffs.
The Warriors are 6-2 in the playoffs. They won all three games on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers and look to remain perfect on the road against the Rockets.
Houston Looks to Prove Themselves
Houston won the season series 3-1 against the Warriors. Two of those wins came at the Toyota Center in Houston. The Rockets are certainly a team that has proved to have figured out the Warriors during the regular season but still seek to crack their armor in the playoffs.
The Warriors are proving that you no longer need a traditional big man to succeed in the NBA anymore. Golden State had that after acquiring DeMarcus Cousins in free agency, but lost him for the remainder of the playoffs due to injury. Golden State has gone back to a starting five that includes Draymond at the five, Durant at the four, and Andre Iguodala at the three. That recipe worked out well in the Warriors championship in 2015 when Iguodala won Finals MVP.
The winner of this series will take on the winner of the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers. That series is currently tied at 1-1, as Game 3 will be played on Friday at 9:30 p.m.