Harden, Rockets Win Game 3

Los Angeles, CA — The Warriors took a lead early, and a familiar sinking feeling set in for many Rockets fans. The Rockets battled back late in the period, with quick, decisive attacks, and smooth shooting from Eric Gordon, who made 7-14 from 3-pt, and ended the night with 30 points on 11-20 shooting. Behind that effort, the Rockets cut the lead to one at the end of the first, 26-25.

Houston knew what was a stake in Game 3.

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Photo By: USA today

The Rockets played with more intensity in the second quarter, with James Harden doing his thing, Gordon shooting the ball well, and Chris Paul dictating tempo game and looking dangerous on the attack. But signs of problems were there. Against nearly any other team, this quarter would have seen a 20+ point lead for Houston. Against Golden State, the margin was only 9 at the half.

The third quarters of playoff games involving Golden State are renowned for furious Warriors runs. They went on one in this game, with the Rockets getting caught seemingly over and over on switches, leaving an opening for a quick pass and a Golden State dunk.

Houston held the Warriors to 33% (4-12) shooting in the paint in the 4th & Overtime, sealing the 126-121 overtime victory.

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Photo By: cbssports.com

James Harden and Eric Gordon became the first pair of Rockets teammates to score 30+ points in a playoff game since 1999.

Chris Paul had 14 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. Talking about PJ Tucker’s impact: “We say it all the time, Tuck doesn't do any of the glamorous stuff," Paul said. "All the stuff he does, doesn't show up on the stat sheet ... but it's always nice for other people to see it and appreciate it." 

Tucker finished with seven points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

It seemed as though the Rockets might hold a lead at around 10 points for the remainder of the game.

Kevin Durant led a one-man comeback in the early fourth, on his way to a 46-point night (14-31) FG, and 6-10 from 3-pt. He also made all 12 of his free throws to go along with six assists.

At one point in the fourth, the Warriors held a slim lead. As time ran out, the game headed for overtime.

This game didn’t need to go into overtime, but the Rockets threw away four or five possessions down the stretch.

Houston was a +20 in rebounding.

Next game: Monday in Houston. Warriors lead the series 2-1.