Twenty-seven is the number that defines the Warriors' once-great -- and one-sided -- rivalry with the Houston Rockets.
The Rockets missed that many consecutive 3-pointers in Game 7 of the 2018 Western Conference finals, falling just short in their best chance to dethrone the Warriors' dynasty. Nearly three years later, Mychal Thompson remains in disbelief.
With James Harden looking like an MVP candidate as a Brooklyn Net, Rockets fans probably can't, either, as Houston looks to be on a collision course with a long rebuild. How different would things be now if the Rockets didn't give up a three-games-to-two series lead? Perhaps Harden already would have a ring, and he wouldn't have demanded a trade in pursuit of a championship.
The Rockets' unpleasant present is bad enough for Houston fans without needing to ask "What if?" In the Rockets' latest loss Sunday during what was an 11-game losing streak entering Monday, they came eerily close to replicating their ignominious milestone from nearly three years ago.
P.J. Tucker and Eric Gordon are the only players who played in both games. The pair went 0-for-6 from 3 on Sunday, which was (surprisingly) worse than their 2-for-17 effort in the 2018 Game 7.
It could be worse for the Rockets. It's not like Harden returns to Houston for the first time Wednesday, in yet another reminder of what could've been in 2018.
Oh, what's that? That's exactly what's happening?
Houston, you have a painful road ahead.