Home cooking in the Big Easy as Rockets fire on all cylinders
Davis masterclass paces Pelicans
Anthony Davis has carried the hopes and dreams of New Orleans fans on his shoulders since being drafted first overall in 2012, but for much of his time in the ‘Big Easy,’ injuries and a lack of talent have hindered his ability to have an impact in the playoffs.
33 points and 18 rebounds in the Pelicans Game 3 win shows that Davis is finally ready to lead his squad deep into the competition.
The home side came out on fire as they scored five three-pointers in the opening period and held the reigning champs to one-for-seven shooting from behind the arc.
The Warriors weren’t about to roll over and, as they have done so often before, rallied behind their All-NBA talent. Klay Thompson got the shooting itch as he scored 20 points (26 total) in the frame to bring his side within six points at the main break.
Following a close loss in Game 2, New Orleans believed they had the firepower and players to match it with and beat Golden State.
Their third quarter performance showed they can back up their words; outscoring the Warriors 30-19 behind Davis, Jrue Holiday (21 points) and Rajon Rondo, who despite only scoring four points recorded 21 assists, just one less than the entire Golden State team.
Golden State pushed in the final quarter looking to reduce the margin but they couldn’t contain the Pelicans, who were boosted by their raucous home crowd.
Thompson top scored for the visitors but none of the starters recorded a positive plus-minus in a game they’ll quickly try to forget.
The 119-100 win helps New Orleans reduce the Warriors series lead to 2-1 ahead of Game 4 on Monday.
Rockets bounce back in Game 3 thrashing
Houston had their titles aspirations questioned and players grilled following a poor Game 2 performance where they looked and played second best.
The Rockets quietened their doubters as they romped to a 113-92 win in a score line that flattenned the Jazz.
A 39-22 opening quarter set the tempo for the visitors and showed their mettle as championship contenders.
Known for their offence, it was the Houston defence that slowed Utah and set up the win as they had the game all but wrapped up by half time with a lead of 30.
Utah won the second half but the damage had been done as the deficit was too much to recover from.
Donovan Mitchell (10 points) and Joe Ingles (six points) had been key to Utah’s success through the playoffs so far but were kept quiet all game as the Rockets stifled the home side at every turn.
James Harden and 2016/17 Sixth Man of the Year Eric Gordon both recorded 25 points while Trevor Ariza had a game-high plus minus of plus-40 (team outscored the Jazz by 40 points with him on the court) for the Rockets who retake the series lead 2-1.