(Bob Levey/NBAE/Getty Images)

Warriors Crush Rockets in Game 3

Curry Leads Golden State to 3-0 Series Lead
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The Warriors took a commanding 3-0 series lead after defeating the Rockets 115-80 in Game 3 in Houston on Saturday night. Stephen Curry was fantastic, scoring a game-high 40 points on only 19 shots while breaking the NBA record for most three-pointers made in a single postseason in the process. Andrew Bogut and Draymond Green both recorded double-doubles, as the Warriors raced out to a 25-point lead after two quarters, and managed to build on that even further in the second half.

After losing the first two games of the series in Oakland, this was as close as it could get to a must-win scenario for the Rockets, and they opened the contest with the kind of energy and passion indicative of that sort of desperation. Dwight Howard scored the opening basket of the game and soon after tied things up at 9-9 with a ferocious dunk that riled up the host crowd. However, Andrew Bogut single-handedly outscored the Rockets 8-1 over the next 100 seconds to give the Dubs a 17-10 lead with 6:04 left in the opening quarter. Howard responded with a put-back dunk to cut the deficit to five, but that was as close as Houston would get for the remainder of the game. Draymond Green immediately answered with a three-pointer, and the Warriors took off from there. Golden State would go on to outscore the Rockets 13-6 through the rest of the first frame, sending the teams into the second quarter with the Warriors holding a 30-18 advantage.

Perhaps sensing the game was getting away from them, Houston hung tough in the first half of the second quarter, outscoring the Warriors 11-8 through the opening six minutes. Then, Stephen Curry took over. After scoring only three points in the first quarter, Curry caught fire and single-handedly accounted for 15 of the Warriors’ next 17 points, all within a three-minute span. That gave Golden State a 20-point lead, and they’d go on to outscore Houston 8-3 through the rest of the frame, sending the game into halftime with the Warriors leading 62-37. The Dubs’ 25-point lead at the half constituted their largest halftime lead in the playoffs in franchise history. Certainly helping matters, the Warriors accounted for a total of only one turnover in the entire first half, their fewest turnovers in a single half since December 15, 2012.

Warriors Take Game 3 in Houston 115-80

The Warriors get a dominant win in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals beating the Rockets 115-80 on Saturday night in Houston.

Game 3: Warriors vs. Rockets - 5/23/15

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Warriors Take Game 3 in Houston 115-80

The Warriors get a dominant win in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals beating the Rockets 115-80 on Saturday night in Houston.
May 23, 2015  |  02:11

Warriors vs. Rockets Game 3

Stephen Curry scored 40 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out seven assists to lead the Warriors to the Game 3 victory over the Rockets, 115-80.
May 23, 2015  |  03:12

Warriors on Win

Steve Kerr, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green discuss the Warriors Game 3 win.
May 23, 2015  |  03:01

Stephen Curry On Court Interview

Doris Burke speaks to Stephen Curry on court following the Warriors Game 3 victory.
May 23, 2015  |  01:23

Spicy Curry

Stephen Curry hits another three-pointer and engages with the crowd after the shot.
May 23, 2015  |  00:26

Curry For Three

Stephen Curry picks up the loose ball and hits another three-pointer.
May 23, 2015  |  00:42

Finger Roll

Stephen Curry drives the lane and puts up the finger roll for two.
May 23, 2015  |  00:12

Scoop By Curry

Stephen Curry steals the ball, leads the break and scores with the scoop high off the glass.
May 23, 2015  |  00:28

David Vs. Goliath

Stephen Curry boxes out Dwight Howard for the rebound and draws the foul.
May 23, 2015  |  00:18

Curry's Record-Breaker

With his 59th three-pointer of the postseason, Stephen Curry breaks Reggie Miller's record for three-pointers in a single postseason.
May 23, 2015  |  00:25

Alley-Oop To Bogut

Draymond Green throws the alley-oop to Andrew Bogut for the slam.
May 23, 2015  |  00:20

Festus For The Rest Of Us

Klay Thompson and Festus Ezeli work the pick and roll for the Ezeli alley-oop.
May 23, 2015  |  00:13

Thompson Alley-Oop

Andre Iguodala grabs the rebound and throws the alley-oop to Klay Thompson for the lay in.
May 23, 2015  |  00:13

Thompson Playing D

Klay Thompson blocks the shot attempt at the rim.
May 23, 2015  |  00:08

David Vs. Goliath

Stephen Curry boxes out Dwight Howard for the rebound and draws the foul.
May 23, 2015  |  00:18

Quick Two

Stephen Curry finds Andre Iguodala behind the defense for a quick layup.
May 23, 2015  |  00:11

With their season seemingly slipping away from them, the Rockets opened up the second half on a roll. Houston outscored Golden State 7-1 in the first 83 seconds of the third quarter, and a James Harden three-pointer at the 7:43 mark cut the deficit to 68-50. But, after giving up a 17-point lead just two days ago in Game 2, the Warriors were not about to repeat the same mistake of letting the Rockets back in the game again. Golden State responded with an immediate 8-0 run to reclaim a 26-point lead, their largest of the game up to that point. Corey Brewer would split a pair of free throws minutes later to maintain the same difference, after which Golden State outscored Houston 7-2 over the final minutes of the third frame to send the game into the fourth quarter with the Warriors holding a commanding 92-61 lead.

Upon resumption of game action, the Rockets again opened with a surge, outscoring the Warriors 9-2 to climb within 94-70 with 8:20 remaining in the contest. However, once again, the Dubs put a quick end to any Rockets’ hopes of making a late comeback. Golden State answered with a 16-5 run of their own to go up 110-75 with 3:57 left in the game, all but assuring the crucial Game 3 victory. The two sides played it even the rest of the way, as the Warriors came away with a 115-80 win, their sixth consecutive victory of the playoffs.

In the end, the Warriors’ 35-point victory constituted the second largest road win in NBA Conference Finals history. The win gives the Warriors a commanding 3-0 series lead, and no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in NBA playoff history. They’ll look to close the series out and clinch their first trip to the NBA Finals in 40 years when they take on the Rockets in Houston in Game 4 on Monday night.


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