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chenjian20
08-08-2018 11:19:47

One thing is clear through three games of the power-packed Western Conference finals between a Golden State team that has won two of the past three championships and a Houston team that had a league-best 65 wins.

If either team is off its game Cody Latimer Color Rush Jersey , a blowout could ensue.

The Rockets found themselves on the wrong end of that equation in a 126-85 defeat in Game 3 that was the most lopsided loss in their postseason history and the biggest win ever for the Warriors, who took a 2-1 series lead.

Now the big question heading into Game 4 on Tuesday night is which team has the edge if both are clicking.

”I kind of expected that yesterday, that it would be that type of game,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. ”We didn’t bring our best game. But I’m hoping for the best. I hope we play great and them bad. Never know.”

In a possible bit of gamesmanship, D’Antoni said the pressure in Game 4 is squarely on Golden State’s shoulders despite the fact Houston trails in the series. He hopes that helps his players stay loose and play with an extra ”giddy-up” in their step.

”We should always have a swagger,” star guard James Harden said. ”But even more importantly, tomorrow. They’ve got to try to take a 3-1 lead going on the road. Tie this thing up going back to our crib.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he welcomes the pressure, knowing his team has shown a tendency to lose focus when there’s not as much on the line. That may have contributed to Golden State coming out flat in a 127-105 loss in Game 2 after winning the series opener by 13 points.

Star Kevin Durant has another theory for why there have been so many lopsided games this postseason. There has been only one Western Conference playoff game this month decided by fewer than eight points and there hasn’t been a single playoff game in either conference decided by single digits since May 9 heading into Monday night’s action.

”The 3-pointer’s such a huge part of the game now that it could easily go from six to 16 or 17 in a matter of seconds in the game,” Durant said. ”So I wouldn’t say … the games aren’t good. It’s just the fact that the style of play causes teams to pull away a little faster.”

The Warriors might have to take the court in Game 4 without a key contributor. Forward Andre Iguodala is doubtful with a sore left knee. If Iguodala can’t go, the Warriors will be down a key defender against Harden and a playmaker on offense, forcing Kerr to make another adjustment after the move to put Iguodala in the starting lineup provided a spark in the second round against New Orleans.

One factor in Golden State’s favor is that Stephen Curry might have found his outside shot in the second half Sunday. After making just 3 of 20 3-pointers in the first 10 quarters of the series Hayden Hurst Color Rush Jersey , Curry hit 4 of 5 from long range after intermission Sunday, including a 30-footer.

”I work on it all the time, and I made it before,” Curry said. ”I had amnesia, really. In that moment, in my head am I 0-for-0, or am I 10-for-10 in my head? I’m feeling good in that moment. Just shoot it. You can’t second-guess your first instinct in that moment. So it’s obviously good to see it go down, and we got a little boost from that possession.”

That type of short-term memory is just what the Rockets need after the Game 3 blowout, even if D’Antoni did plan to hold a film session to go over the mistakes for his own sanity more than as a teaching tool.

His players know they weren’t aggressive enough on both ends and lacked the focus needed to beat a Warriors team that is nearly unstoppable when at its best this time of year. But the Rockets have the confidence built in a stellar regular season and first two rounds to believe they have the tools to pull it off.

”Just go out there and do it,” Harden said. ”It’s pretty simple. Not try to overcomplicate things. Just go out there and do what we do. Obviously, do the opposite of what we did last game http://www.jaguarsauthorizedshops.com/a … yan-jersey , but it’s not hard at all.”

NOTES: Iguodala banged his knee in the fourth quarter Sunday, Kerr said. … Kerr plans to speak to the league about Draymond Green’s double-technical with Trevor Ariza in the fourth when Ariza shoved the Warriors forward after they traded words.



AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley in Oakland contributed to this report.




Trae Young went into college basketball feeling like he had something to prove to his doubters.

A year later, here he goes again.

Young was the most electrifying player in the college game this past season, his stellar numbers in his only season at Oklahoma more than silencing anyone who felt like he wasn’t elite. And now he expects that he’ll need to prove himself once again, starting right when his name gets called in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

”I’ll always have a chip on my shoulder,” Young said, ”until I hang my shoes up.”

That chip served him well at Oklahoma, when he led the nation with averages of 27.4 points and 8.7 assists per game. He’ll be snagged in the lottery on Thursday, by a team that apparently will be willing to turn its offense over to a 6-foot-2 guard who tries to emulate Steve Nash and counts Rod Strickland as one of his many mentors.

He thinks he’s the best player in the draft, and very easily could be the first guard to get selected. Young was recruited for years by Oklahoma, his hometown school Authentic Josh Allen Jersey , and Sooners coach Lon Kruger spent hours and hours with him this past season breaking down film – probably all the while knowing that his star guard was going the one-and-done route.

”I knew how good he was, but I didn’t even realize he was this good,” said Kentucky coach John Calipari, who also recruited Young heavily. ”The biggest thing in this, and it’s a great lesson – Lon Kruger, who I have unbelievable respect for, basically said `We’re going to play through you, it’s all going through you, you’re going to shoot when you want.’ And he did not lie.”

Kruger’s trust in Young was worthwhile. In college, there was something special from Young just about every night.

Young had four games where he scored at least 40 points; no one in Division I could say that. Young had nine other games where he finished with at least 20 points and 10 assists; again, no other Division I player came close to doing that Baker Mayfield Browns Jersey , either.

Young tied the all-time Division I record with a 22-assist game in December. He was the first player to finish a season simultaneously leading Division I in scoring and assists per game. The accolades kept piling up – highest scoring average for a season by any player from any Big 12 school, consensus All-American, freshman of the year, Bob Cousy Award finalist, Naismith Trophy semifinalist.

He had a sensational year by any measure.

”It was crazy,” Young said. ”But it was fun … and it motivated me to get better.”

The realistic watching for Young should start with the No. 3 pick, owned by the Atlanta Hawks.

Atlanta worked Young out about a week ago, and the guard looked noticeably stronger than he was a couple months ago when his college career ended – he says he’s packed on at least 10 pounds of new muscle since then.

The Hawks say their approach will be simple: They’ll take the best player still on the board. Young knows it’s out of his control.

”This is the first time in my life where I haven’t gotten to pick where I’m going,” Young said. ”AAU, you get to pick what team you play for. College, same. Having to wait to see where you’re going http://www.panthersauthorizedshops.com/ … mas-jersey , it’s definitely something different but I’m not nervous at all.”

And when it’s time to find his seat at Barclays Center for the draft, Young insists that he’s going to savor the moment.

”If you looked back a year ago to now, nobody would think I’d be in this situation,” Young said. ”So just being here now, I’m just going to enjoy and relax and embrace it all. That draft night is going to be a great feeling for me.”



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