Philippines, 29 May 2024
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Rockets miss an NBA record 27 three-pointers and lose playing in the Finals

So, what else is new?

The Golden State Warriors, the NBA?s and the world?s greatest third quarter team, again used their stature in erasing a 15-point Houston Rockets? first half lead en route to a 101-92 Game 7 victory in the NBA Western Conference finals at the Toyota Center.

The Warriors, thus, earned their ticket to the championship playoff for the fourth consecutive season opposite the Eastern Conference titlist Cleveland Cavaliers in as many times up, likewise.

Stephen Curry and the Warriors start their best-of-seven title series against LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Thursday (Friday Manila time) at Golden State?s home turf Oracle Arena.

The Rockets, known for living by their three-point shots in winning a regular season 65 games to become the league?s No. 1 team going into the playoffs, died by it losing a 54-43 edge ending the second quarter, lost, too, their shooting touch the rest of the way.

They were outscored, 33-15, by the Warriors in the pivotal third frame where their most lethal weapon abandoned them, going zero from beyond the arc in the same period.

The Rockets, actually, missed an NBA playoff record 27 consecutive 3-pointers from the second quarter on to the fourth quarter, which went into the books as new NBA record.

That the Rockets, indeed, fell to the Warriors? stonewall defense was evident in their 7-of-44 performance from the 3-point line, or nearly 16 percent. They just made 1-of-30 from beyond the arc to close out the game.

And to think that coach Mike D?Antoni?s boys before Game 7 were averaging more than 42 attempts per game this season. They average just more than 15 made 3-pointers per game, too, an average of nearly 36 percent.

Trevor Ariza went 0-for-12 overall, and 0-for-9 from beyond the arc. James Harden wasn?t much better, missing 11 of his 13 threes (32 points, six rebounds, six assists in all) while Gordon missed 10 of 12.

The Warriors had no such problems, hitting 16 of their 39 threes. Klay Thompson, survived serious foul trouble early, hit three from long range and finished with 19 points.

The Warriors went 16-of-39 from the parking lot with Curry, who finished with 27 points, going 7-of-15 from behind the arc himself ? matching the entire Rockets team total.

Besides the three-point failure, there were other factors, too, like the Rockets felt the absence of playmaker Chris Paul more than defense specialist Andre Igoudala on the Warriors? side.

The Warriors, of course, have the advantage, experience-wise. Golden State has been playing in the NBA Finals the past three years in a row, bringing home the bacon twice -- in 2016 and last year.

The Rockets haven?t tasted disputing the title since the Hakeem Olajuwon era 23 years ago in 1995.

Playing before home crowd looked to favor though the Rockets, who ar, historically at home in Game 7s. According to Vegas Insider, the NBA has had 131 Game 7s in playoff history. The away from home teams have only won 27 of them, or a little more than 20 percent.

In the Western Conference Finals, the last team to win an away from home game in Game 7 were the Los Angeles Lakers of 2002. A feat duplicated by the Warriors and the Cavaliers Sundday night at TD Garden in Boston.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.

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