The Golden State Warriors will look to sweep the Houston Rockets on Monday night at Toyota Center in the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors thumped the Rockets in Game 3 in Houston, 115-80, after some tight matchups in Oakland, and have the momentum entering Game 4.
It's been a long time coming for the organization. The last time the Warriors reached the NBA Finals was in the 1974-1975 season when they were led by Rick Barry and Jamaal Wilkes.
Stephen Curry had one of his best performances of the playoffs in Game 3. The regular-season MVP scored 40 points and drained seven of his nine three-point shot attempts. But it was the Warriors defense that may been the overriding factor. Golden State had nine steals, six blocks and limited Houston to just 33.7 percent field-goal shooting. The Warriors also outrebounded the Rockets, 60-39.
"If we defend like crazy and take care of the ball, we're going to be in good shape," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. Kerr had previously expressed concern with the Warriors inability to maintain possession, but most of Golden State's 13 turnovers on Saturday came when the game was basically decided.
Rockets head coach Kevin McHale may need to make more adjustments if the Rockets have any interest in extending the series. James Harden appeared frustrated by the Warriors defense, converting just three of his 16 shot attempts.
Houston faced a 3-1 series deficit in the last round against the Los Angeles Clippers, and were able to win three consecutive games to reach the West Finals. But the Warriors have proven to be a far tougher challenge.
The Rockets are not about to throw in the towel.
"The rest of the series is about pride," veteran Rockets point guard Jason Terry said. "It's about coming out and establishing that you are a tough team, and we've been doing that throughout this postseason. There's no doubt in my mind that will be the case (Monday) night."
Time: 8:30 p.m. EDT
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Stream: Watch Here
Point Spread: Golden State by 5
Over/Under: 213 points
Prediction: Golden State over Houston, 101-99