So, last night, the best team in the League went on the road to face its conference’s second-best team. The best team featured the NBA MVP, and the second-best team featured the runner-up. The best team led 2-0, so the second-best team needed a win—desperately.
Shoulda added up to a nice game, right?
Not so much. Golden State jumped on Houston early (30-18 after one quarter) and never relented. The game was out of Houston’s reach by halftime (62-37), and the Warriors won the third and fourth quarters for good measure, too.
Naturally, lots of the damage was done by Steph Curry. He hit a sweet fadeaway to knot the game at 7-7 in the opening minutes, and only grew stronger from there. In all, the MVP dropped 40 points on 12-of-19 shooting (!), including 9-10 free throws (!!) and 7-9 threes (!!!!!!!!!!!). He also handed out 7 assists and snatched 5 rebounds in 35 minutes.
Klay Thompson and Draymond Green each added 17, and Andrew Bogut posted 12 and 12. This looked roughly like a No. 1 seed vs. a No. 2384 seed. The West was really tough this year, and, now just one win away from the title, the Warriors have made it look like a joke.
So, yeah. Not exactly a sharp showing from Houston. James Harden hit just 3 of his 16 shots (though he made 10-11 free throws to finish with 17). Dwight Howard was aggressive early on the glass, but his 14 and 17 proved fruitless in the loss. Josh Smith added 16, but guys like Jason Terry (4), Trevor Ariza (7) and Terrence Jones (6) didn’t deliver. In fairness, it’s pretty tough to beat the 67-win Warriors when you rely on dudes like Jason Terry (no disrespect to the JET!).
The Warrriors were the best team in the NBA all season long, and seem (somehow) to be peaking in the postseason. Curry is unstoppable, Thompson can hit any shot on the floor and the supporting cast shows up every night. They’re simply a tremendous team. Meanwhile, now down 3-0, Houston’s road to success looks something like this: Game 4 home win, steal Game 5, Game 6 home win, ride momentum into a Game 7 win. Best of luck.
The series just might wrap up on Monday night.