West Conf. Finals Game 3 - Houston Rockets 85-126 Golden State Warriors - Rockets' Player Ratings
It was expected that the Houston Rockets would lose and that they did - but what really sets this drubbing apart from the other blowouts we've seen in these Playoffs is the sheer margin by which the loss came about - something reflected in the scoreboard.
This was the Rockets' biggest margin of loss for a defeat in the playoffs - as it was the largest margin of victory for the Golden State Warriors at the same stage. This is the only time a 65+-win team from the regular season has ever been beaten by 40 points or more in the postseason. The margin could have been a wee bit better for the Rockets if their starters had stayed in, or if their garbage-time lineup hadn't literally been garbage and given up 19 points in 5 minutes while scoring just 7.
In the aftermath of this record-breaking game, the Rockets have an uphill task at hand - finding a way to reverse Game 3 on its head and beating the Warriors at the Oracle Arena. That is easier said than done since the Dubs are unbeaten in 16 playoff games at home - yes, that is another record the Warriors broke today with this win.
What went wrong for the Rockets? A look at each player's individual performance will probably give us the keys to the answer:
Chris Paul - 4.5/10
Stat line: 13 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 5-of-16 (31.25% fg), 2-of-8 (25% on threes)
The Point God wasn't nearly as God-like as the Rockets needed today. He had an uncharacteristically low 4 assists for the game, and couldn't buy a bucket from most parts of the field. He was accurate on less than one out of three shots, and his driving game was the part of his game that took the biggest hit.
The only thing that he gets credit for today's performance is his on-ball defense, as he affected a block and 2 steals. The Rockets, however, were not functioning well in the half-court set as an offense, and as the point guard for the team, Paul has to shoulder the blame fully.
He was hounded by Klay Thompson whenever he got on the ball, and he has shown us in the past that at his best, reaching in on Paul's handle will lead to him teaching the defender a thing or two. The H-town faithful will be hoping that Paul is able to deliver 3 games better than this outing since they have no chance of beating the Warriors if CP3 falters like this, calf injury notwithstanding.