Aldridge, Spurs down Rockets in Game 3

Aldridge, Spurs down Rockets in Game 3

Aldridge, Spurs down Rockets in Game 3

The first four games of the Western Conference semifinal series between the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs have seen the best and worst of both teams, with each winning twice.

One of Gregg Popovich's top priorities in the final weeks of the regular season was making sure the San Antonio Spurs got veteran point guard Tony Parker healthy and in rhythm for the playoff push.

In the playoffs, the Rockets have a 97.4 defensive rating in the 161 minutes that Nene has been on the floor. Dekker had 10 points and seven rebounds in that December game and played in the first half on Sunday after Nene went out.

"He's pretty much on the ideal team for the way they play and what their goals are offensively".

Kyle Korver scored 18 points to help the Cavaliers become the first team to win eight straight playoff games the year following a title, and the first team to win eight straight in consecutive postseasons. But the Spurs regained control of the series with a 103-92 win in Game 3 at the Toyota Center on Friday night. Harden ran pick-on-the-big-and-rolls which created a few mismatches on the perimeter but even when the Spurs didn't switch their defense was just lost. I try to go out there and play as hard as I could for my teammates tonight, man. The Rockets will no doubt be looking for revenge after their loss in game 3, a game everyone said they would win. It's an option that's worked well for coach Mike D'Antoni this season. Trevor Ariza (17 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 5-12 3Pt) and Clint Capela (12 points, 16 rebounds, 5 blocks) made useful contributions but the Rockets seemingly need more to overcome the Spurs for three more victories. The Rockets' bench stepped up, getting 22 points from guards Eric Gordon and 13 from Lou Williams after the entire reserve unit scored just 10 points in their Game 3 loss. The Spurs fell to 0-37 when entering the fourth quarter of a postseason game trailing by 15 or more points. "They hit some shots and they won", D'Antoni told the Associated Press. With the Spurs playing two traditional bigs, the Rockets have ample opportunities through screening to get one of them on the ball-handler, which is essentially a death sentence for the defender. His point guard had come under scrutiny from fans who said his best days were behind him, but Popovich marveled at how the soft-spoken Parker's leadership had "increased exponentially" in their first season together without Duncan.

In Game 3 though, the Rockets did not have an answer for its poor shooting.

The focus just wasn't there for the Spurs on Sunday night and their mistakes were too many any too severe. If you're going to take two-point shots, go inside and get buckets and draw fouls. The victor of Game 5 in the 196 times the series was tied won the series 82.7 percent of the time, according to information provided to the National Basketball Association by Elias.

"I've done it through my career", Anderson said.

James Harden finished with a game-high 43 points but only managed to dish out five assists.

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