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Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors Game 3 preview

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

After three days to soak in their Game 2 victory, Houston shifts its focus to Oakland and Oracle Arena.

The Rockets had all of the pressure in Games 1 and 2. In Game 1, it was their game to show that they could hang with the Warriors. Then in Game 2, it was a “must-win” to prevent potentially getting swept. The Rockets dodged that outcome and forced a Game 5, but now the good guys can walk into the loudest arena in basketball and steal one of two games that they aren’t actually expected to win.

Houston sported the best road record in the NBA this season at 31-10. They won the only game between these teams in Oracle, but that was way back on Opening Night so it’s irrelevant.

We know Houston can score. Even when the Rockets lose they have scored 105 points or more each time. The key tonight will be the same key for every game Houston has played this postseason: defense. In Houston’s three playoff losses, they have given up an average of 118.7 points. In their nine wins, they are holding opponents to 96.6 points. Basketball is a complicated game with literally an infinite amount of data to use to determine the best strategies, but at the end of the day the game is really simple: score more points than your opponent.

The battle tonight will come down to role players, and I expect Golden State’s to show up at home. I think this series will hinge on Game 4.

What say you? Will Houston go down 2-1 or will they prove their legitimacy tonight? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Tip-off is at 7pm CT on TNT