OAKLAND – Shortly after he placed the ball into the basket, Warriors guard Stephen Curry looked out into the crowd and yelled, “This is my — house!!” Shortly after Curry drained a 3-pointer over Rockets guard James Harden, Curry performed a shimmy move. Shortly after Warriors forward Kevin Durant sank a corner 3-pointer, he turned and darted his eyes toward the Rockets’ bench.
All of these plays represented highlights reels in the Warriors’ 126-85 Game 3 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday at Oracle Arena. Those plays also captured how the Warriors both extended a 2-1 series lead and finished with a 58-24 record for the Western Conference’s best record in the 2017-18 season.
The Warriors exerted their dominance through a third-quarter push. After holding a 54-43 halftime lead over the Rockets, the Warriors entered the fourth quarter with a 88-67 cushion. Then, the Warriors outscored Houston, 34-24. Curry posted 18 of his team-high 35 points and made all seven of his shot attempts, including two of three-point range. Durant added 10 of his 25 points. And the Warriors outrebounded the Rockets, 12-7.
This might have been expected. After all, the Warriors led the NBA this season in third-quarter scoring (30.2 points per game) and outscored their opponents by at least 20 points in the third quarter in seven different games. The Warriors’ third-quarter numbers eclipsed other league-leading offenses, including Denver (28.1 points per third quarter) and Houston (27.8).
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