NBA Playoff Preview – Game 3: Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors kind of got caught up in a blizzard on Wednesday, as the Houston Rockets filled the air with three-pointers. In general, they outhustled the defending world champions, and ran away with a victory, scoring more than 30 points in each of the last three quarters. Now they are looking to press what they believe could be an advantage as they enter Game 3 of this series, which is scheduled for 8:05 PM ET on Sunday night at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. Remember that if you are a BetAnySports customer, you can place wagers in real-time after the game has begun, taking advantage of the technology available through Live Betting Ultra.
Golden State rang up a 119-106 victory in Game 1, and Houston was desperate not to get swept two games on its own home floor. The Warriors were a little confused and perhaps lax coming out of the gate for Game 2, committing five turnovers in the first five minutes. This was quite a surprise, after people saw them turn it over only nine times in the first game. Things were just not in sync for Golden State on this particular night; even with James Harden shooting just 3-15 from pre-point range, Houston ran away with a 127-105 victory to even the series up. Truly, what happened was that they really got some good balance, as well is a major contribution from Eric Gordon, who had 27 points off the bench. And the Warriors are a little top-heavy as far as their own scoring production was concerned, with Kevin Durant coming up big with 38 points, but only Steph Curry, who scored 16 points, reaching double digits beyond that.
In the NBA playoff odds posted on this Game 3 by the people at BetAnySports, the Warriors are the solid favorites:
Golden State Warriors -8
Houston Rockets +8
Over 226 points -110
Under 226 points -110
Houston’s philosophy involves taking those long-range shots whenever they can. And 42 of their 88 attempts in Game 2 were triples. Gordon made six of them, and P.J. Tucker made five out of the six he attempted. Will that kind of thing be duplicated? That would be a tough thing to maintain, and Golden State might attempt a different defensive philosophy this time around, putting a natural center into the game so that Draymond Green might be able to spend some more time guarding Tucker and/or Gordon. When the Warriors have gone to the small lineup – the “Death” lineup, if you will – it has not necessarily been so dominant, because Houston is looking to be small to begin with. At the same time, with big man Clint Capela in the lineup, he has to be accounted for.
As far as Golden State is concerned, they have started to resemble the Cleveland Cavaliers somewhat, in that there is one dominant scorer, and that is not the nature of this squad. Kevin Durant has 75 points on 55% shooting, with 15 trips to the free-throw line over the first two games. Curry has made only two triples in 13 attempts, and Klay Thompson was very quiet in Game 2. With the return home, might we expect that to change?
That could very well be. The Warriors missed 21 open shots on Wednesday night, so you know some of them are going to fall. And even though turnovers have from time to time been a problem for them, they won’t be as sloppy this time around. We could easily see things getting reversed here, and if the W’s get even a little hotter from three-point range, they could cover this number.
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