Stephen Curry set a new NBA record for most 3-pointers made in a postseason during the second quarter of Saturday’s Game 3. But it was another play the MVP made 56 seconds earlier that has everyone buzzing.
After Klay Thompson missed a jumper, Curry boxed out a Houston Rocket with his body, secured the offensive rebound with his left arm and was fouled as he went back up to take a shot. That Rocket was Dwight Howard, who is at least six inches taller and 75 pounds heavier. Curry sank both free throws, giving him seven points with 5:28 left in the first half.
Curry would score 33 points over his next 21 minutes of action to finish with 40 points, leading the Warriors to a 115-80 rout over the Houston Rockets at a quiet Toyota Center. Golden State is just one game away from reaching the NBA Finals. Curry shot 12-of-19 from the field, 7-of-9 from the 3-point line and 9-of-10 from the free-throw line.
Reggie Miller owned the previous record of most 3-pointers made in a postseason. Miller hit 58 3-pointers in 22 games during the 2000 playoffs. Curry broke the record in just his 13th game and now has 64 and counting.
After two sensational games in Oakland, James Harden struggled mightily. The MVP runner-up scored 17 points on 3-of-16 shooting. Josh Smith had 16 points and eight rebounds. Howard added 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Houston shot just 33.7 percent from the field and made just 5-of-25 (.200) from 3-point range. The Rockets committed 15 turnovers and those turned into 24 points for Golden State.
The Warriors shot 45.4 percent from the field, 39.3 percent (11-of-28) from beyond the arc, and 80 percent (16-of-20) from the free-throw line. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green scored 17 points apiece. Andrew Bogut had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Festus Ezeli finished with a playoff career-high 10 points. Green added 13 rebounds and five assists.
Golden State dominated in rebounds (60-39), offensive rebounds (17-9), assists (26-15), points in the paint (58-42) and second-chance points (30-13). The Rockets did manage to score more fast-break points (14-9).
The Warriors led by 12 points after the first quarter, 25 at halftime, 31 after the third quarter and the final margin of 35 was the biggest advantage of the night. Golden State built a big lead in the first half by committing just one turnover in the first half and holding Houston to 29.3 percent shooting.
Golden State scored 62 points in the first half, but only 12 came via the 3-pointer. The Warriors showed once again that they are indeed a complete team.
Game 4 is scheduled to tip-off on Monday at 6:10 p.m. PDT and will be televised on ESPN. If the Warriors complete the sweep, they will have nine days of rest before the NBA Finals start on June 4.