40 points on nineteen freaking shots. Seven threes. Seven assists. Five rebounds. It's almost like the Rockets didn't know he was the MVP.
Curry absolutely crushed the Rockets in the second and third quarters. Shot after shot after shot swished through the net. Bank shots, finger rolls, three-pointers galore. "It's fun out there," he said afterward. Tonight, he set the record for the most threes in a single postseason -- beating Reggie Miller -- in just thirteen games.
Finally, Golden State took command of a game from start to finish in the manner they did in the regular season. The Warriors came out with a vengeance in the first quarter, getting out to a twelve-point lead -- committing zero turnovers in the quarter, and just one for the half. At the end of two, Golden State led by twenty-five, 62-37.
The Warriors thoroughly outplayed Houston in every single facet of the game. They forced James Harden into tough midrange jumper after tough midrange jumper -- shots that the Warriors wanted him to take, and that he made in the first two games -- that he missed. Harden made just three of sixteen shots as Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala dominated him defensively.
The defining moment of the game came in the first half, when Steph and Dwight Howard battled for a rebound. Curry aggressively boxed Howard and, with one hand, grabbed the loose ball and was fouled. "Just about valuing every possession," Steve Kerr said after the game. That play embodied the maximum effort the Warriors showed throughout Game 3, and the pure apathy that the Rockets displayed. It was honestly embarrassing how Houston came out in Game 3, with their season basically on the line, at home, against a team that has beaten them six consecutive times this year -- no energy, no passion, no communication on defense.
With the win, the Warriors ripped the heart out of the Rockets. While Houston did come back against the Clippers last round, that won't happen against this Golden State team. The Warriors are on a mission, and now they're just five wins away from mission accomplished. Houston is a very good team; Golden State is just that much better.
It also doesn't hurt to have the MVP doing his thing.