Warriors earn A's across the board in Game 3 blowout vs Rockets
Game 3 Grades
OAKLAND -- As they prepared to meet Houston in the Western Conference Finals, we identified five keys for the Warriors to win the series in six games or fewer. After each game, we assess how they grade out on those factors.
Here are the grades for Game 3, a 126-85 rout Sunday at Oracle Arena.
ICE THE ARC
The hours of video study and preparation paid off for the Warriors. They held the Rockets to 32.4 percent from beyond the arc, 29.2 percent during the first three quarters. James Harden, Chris Paul and Eric Gordon -- their most explosive 3-point scorers -- were limited to 6-of-22 from deep. With only a couple lapses, those open looks that PJ Tucker and Trevor Ariza saw in Game 2 were gone.
THE CHARITY STRIPE
The Warriors wanted to crank up the defense without committing fouls, particularly those that would put Houston on the free throw line. Mission accomplished. Harden shot five free throws, and no other Rocket shot more than two as Houston took a total of 13. This is a formula the Warriors would like to apply to every game.
THE CHARITY COUNT
As lopsided as the score was, the turnover count was even more of a rout. The Warriors committed only eight, off which the Rockets scored 8 points. Houston committed seven in the first quarter, handing the Warriors 11 quick points, and a total of 20 for the game. The Warriors scored 28 points, 22.2 percent of their total score, off Houston turnovers.
SC30 VS. CP3
For the first time in the series, we have a decisive winner. Paul played well beneath his standard, with 13 points on 5-of-16 shooting, including 2-of-8 from deep, and four assists. His most impressive stat: a team-high 10 rebounds. Curry, by contrast, was the chief chef in the cooking of the Rockets. He poured in a game-high 35 points, on 13-of-23 shooting, including 5-of-12 from deep. As the Warriors put the game on ice in the third quarter, he scored 18 points, on 7-of-7 shooting, including 2-of-2 from deep. In this battle of premier point guards, Curry was boss.
Jordan Bell got his first substantive action, playing 10 minutes. Looney was solid, particularly on defense, in his 14 minutes. But this was, for the most part, a war between Draymond Green and Clint Capela. Capela didn’t play badly, but his performance was completely eclipsed by that of Green, who was the pillar of a Warriors defense that limited Houston to 39.5-percent shooting. Green also grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds, with 15 coming on the defensive glass.