After two uninspired games that ended in blowouts in Oakland, the Rockets came alive at home to beat the Warriors and get on the board in a series that was expected to end in a sweep. Now they will have the chance to tie it and put pressure on Golden Sate to win Game 5 at Oracle Arena.
For that to happen, the Rockets need to hope that Stephen Curry's nagging ankle injury keeps him out for another game. The league's MVP had to sit out the past two after suffering a sprain in Game 1 and has said that he will likely suit up on Sunday. The Warriors have understandably been cautious about his health, however, so if he feels discomfort after warming up, they might try to convince him to rest once again.
If Curry plays, it's hard to see Houston emerging victorious. They struggled to beat the version of the Warriors that didn't feature the best player in the league, after all. James Harden had to hit a game-winner with two seconds left and Golden State still had a final chance to steal the game, which Draymond Green squandered. It was the type of close game that Curry typically opens up with his scoring ability, so if it goes down to the wire again, Houston might not get lucky a second time.
Even though their Game 3 victory wasn't convincing, the Rockets do deserve credit for playing hard at home and getting a win very few people outside of their fans thought they would get. James Harden had a phenomenal performance, finishing the night with 35 points, eight rebounds and nine assists, reminding everyone of how big an impact he can have when he's at his best. He could definitely have a similar performance in Game 4 and single-handedly keep Houston in the game.
The Warriors now know better than to take the Rockets lightly and will surely come out focused, looking for a win that will afford them the opportunity to end the series in Game 5. Chances are they will get it. If they don't, then it will be time to start thinking of Houston as a serious threat to pull off the upset.
How to watch Warriors vs. Rockets Game 4
Place: Toyota Center
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Streaming: ABC Live
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