James Harden: James Harden posts 28/12/5 in Game 4 victory

James Harden: James Harden posts 28/12/5 in Game 4 victory

Beverley tapped his heart and pointed toward the sky several times in the minutes leading up to tipoff.

"I can finally breathe", Harden said. Harden had a total of five assists in Game 3, a tally he matched in the first quarter tonight as the Rockets roared out to a 12-point lead. It wasn't just the 26 points - the most he's scored in these playoffs - but the renewed confidence that was encouraging to see. It's been the story of the season for them, as they went 19-26 ATS at home. "But they were that intense, they were that focused and professional, and we were not". The injury came as the Spurs are locked in a second-round battle with Houston, a series tied 1-1 with Game 3 on the road coming up Friday. The Spurs got four back off two straight steals, and Aldridge started forcing his will inside for ten points in the quarter, but the Rockets had an answer each time.

Rockets forward Ryan Anderson took just four shots on Friday, missing all of them from the 3-point line. Second unit scoring wasn't an issue on Sunday, as Eric Gordon poured on 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting and Lou Williams chimed in with 13 of his own. The 34-year-old was injured in the fourth quarter of Game 2. Those worries should be all but out the door after the Spurs regained home-court advantage Friday night in Houston.

Luckily for the most offensively and defensively balanced team in the National Basketball Association and one of the most experienced, San Antonio can compensate for that obstacle and make do with a pair of big men in Gasol and Aldridge, who between them have 11 All-Star selections. If we don't win, we're 3-1, and we've really got our work cut out.

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So, D'Antoni's team went out, made shots (10 of 24 of those open shots mentioned above), and won Game 1 in a rout. "It was that bad". He also had the support of coach Mike D'Antoni and teammate James Harden, who talked about the situation. That includes running up the tempo on offence and pushing the ageing San Antonio side to the limit on the physical front. Patty Mills is the third double-digit scorer and Danny Green is grabbing 2.9 rebounds. Gasol had 12 points and nine rebounds. The Rockets had been killed on the offensive glass the last couple games and that slowed down their attack.

After hitting the 3-pointer to put Houston the board, Beverley gestured to the sky in honor of his late grandfather. That's precisely what happened last night in Houston as they convincingly took Game 3, 103-92. Rockets personnel consoled Beverley as he sat in a courtside seat and cried.

With Clint Capela in foul trouble and Nene leaving the game with an injury in the first half, the Rockets played quite a bit with no big man on the court (unless you want to count Ryan Anderson, who is no rim protector). "He was at every single game that he could possibly make it to. The others step up", veteran Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said in a video on the Spurs' website.