Is there a way to stop a Warriors-Cavaliers showdown? | Inquirer Sports
Bare Eye

Is there a way to stop a Warriors-Cavaliers showdown?

IT’S NOT even funny what transpired in Game 3 of the NBA Western Conference Finals at Toyota Center in Houston on Sunday (Manila time).

The Golden State Warriors, who had posted an excruciating 2-0 lead at home, visited and played in Houston against the celebrated Rockets as though they had not left their hometown.

The Warriors performed with poise,  sharpness and enviable cohesiveness.


On the other hand, the home team was extremely hospitable and accommodating.


The Rockets were, in fact, quite meek that, for the most part, the game appeared more like a road clinic.

* * *

Golden State, which won the first two conference playoff games with a combined margin of only five points (100-96 and 99-98) overdid themselves and swamped Houston 115 to 80 for a 3-0 playoff lead, while moving within a game of clinching their first NBA Finals slot since 1975.

Season MVP Stephen Curry, who soared and sizzled trouble-free, flourished with 40 points, sinking seven 3-pointers, thereby breaking the record for most triples in a playoff within a season with a total of 64.

The Warriors, definitely superior in all departments, surpassed the expectations of their fans back in Bay Area California.

If it were in boxing, the mismatch would’ve been readily rated a bore.


* * *

There’s a sadder part: The compelling conquest by the visiting Warriors cut short the budding mano a mano between the NBA top scorers of the period, namely Curry and James Harden.

Harden, who had drawn the nervous ire of opposing fans in Games 1 and 2 at Oracle Arena with his incredible point-making heroics, was nowhere near Curry on Sunday.

Wasted and befuddled, the bearded Harden, who made only 3 of 16 field attempts, was a miserable shaven figure on the bench before the end of the one-side game.

Big Dwight Howard scored 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, but these were nothing more than marshmallow heroics against the Warriors’ sustained swarming team defense.

* * *

Definitely shaken, losing coach Kevin McHale said he thought his team was capable of showing more juice.

All told, McHale and his men lost to a team that was better coached, better trained, better conditioned and better motivated.

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, the Cavaliers blew hot and cold and had to ride on exhausted LeBron James’ twin finishing game heroics to win, 114-111, in overtime for a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals playoffs.

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Golden State, also up 3-0, goes for the conference clincher in Houston today.

TAGS: Basketball, NBA

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