By: Kylan Watson
The Golden State Warriors needed to find an answer, after being routed by the Houston Rockets in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors needed somebody other than Kevin Durant to step up to stop the Rockets. That player was Stephen Curry, who returned to form to propel the Warriors to a Game 3 victory, by a score of 126-85. The return of “The Chef” was a welcome sight for the Warriors, who will need a resurgent Curry if they want to beat the Rockets and make it to their fourth straight NBA Finals appearance.
The Warriors got off to a hot start from the opening tip-off. They hit 13 three pointers and used their hot shooting from the three-point line, to open scoring opportunities in the paint. The player that benefitted the most from this style of play was Warriors Guard, Stephen Curry.
Curry scored 35 points and grabbed six rebounds. This was Curry’s best performance on both sides of the ball in the series so far. Curry scored 25 of his 35 points in the second half. The Warriors needed Curry’s offensive output in the second half to pull away from the Rockets.
Curry had not been playing up to his standards throughout the first two games of this series. Many believed it was because Curry was still dealing with a nagging knee injury. However, with this performance Curry answered the is he healthy or not question.
The Warriors offense had been missing the additional scoring punch of Curry. Kevin Durant had been bearing much of the scoring load for the Warriors, if Curry can return to form then the Warriors are a very dangerous team that might beat the Rockets in five games instead of six.
The Rockets did not play up to their standards in Game 3. Not only did they allow Curry to get hot from the field, but they also committed 19 momentum killing turnovers. These turnovers propelled the Warriors offense, because they were able to get easy shots off fast break opportunities.
The Rockets offense was very stagnant as well they played a lot of isolation basketball. Isolation basketball will not beat the Warriors who play effective team defense.
Mike D’Antoni must find a way to once again exploit the weakness of the Warriors and get some of his role players to step-up on the road. Ball movement will be a huge key in beating the Warriors. D’Antoni’s task is now a lot more difficult, especially if Steph Curry has returned to form.
Game 4 is now a must-win for the Rockets, who must do everything in their power to earn a victory and earn a split on the Warriors home court.