When the Rockets aren't trying to find new ways to solve this Spurs puzzle, players and coaches alike have a habit of playing the popular cell phone game, "Words with friends", with one another as a way to unwind. Kawhi Leonard has lead the Spurs in nearly every major category this postseason, and he's averaging 30 points per game in San Antonio's two victories against Houston.
The swing here is so important that the Rockets MUST treat this like a Game 7. His opponent, he said, hadn't done all that much differently, and the loss had come down to his team's singular inability to create and hit open three-point shots. Against San Antonio, Nene averaged 5.5 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.8 minutes of action.
James Harden had 28 points and 12 assists, while Trevor Ariza scored 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting and Eric Gordon came off the bench for 22 points - including 6-for-9 from three - in Houston's key victory.
Houston's offense bounced back in a big way after the team had been held to below 100 points in each of the last two games after failing to reach the mark only five times in the regular season. Lou Williams, who had four points combined in the past two games, had 13 points.
"This is a big stage they did it on", he said.
As you can see, this is obviously a very emotional time for Beverley and his family, and our prayers go out to them.
"I've been playing for 15 years at that kind of level and that kind of intensity because I take care of myself", he said.
The Rockets were able to cut Kawhi Leonard off at the pass most of the night he only managed two points in the second half and finished with 16. "They have no answers for us in transition, and we have to get there more".
Sparked by six 3-pointers, two each by Harden and Gordon, the Rockets put the Silver and Black on their heels with a 22-6 run that gave Houston a 79-61 lead with 5:42 left in the third period. He scored 28 points off the bench while shooting flawless from the floor. 'I was going try to get on the next flight to Chicago, and I'm really a strong guy, and I can deal with a lot of things. And will we see an interior heavy offense from the Silver and Black to counter the Houston three-pointer? "I'm nearly shooting 50% from regular field (specifically, 48.8%) and three-point (50% exactly), so I've just got to take more shots".
The Spurs' dynamic seems to change drastically when he gets rolling early, forcing Houston to shift some of its focus away from Leonard, who continues to be mobbed by multiple defenders.
Houston jumped out to a hot start, taking a 15-point lead when Nene stole David Lee's pass and went coast-to-coast eight minutes into the contest.
"Our bible begins with transition defense, and if it's not there, then we're just not ready to go", he said. His experience and leadership are extremely valuable to the team. LaMarcus Aldridge has taken the bumps from the Rockets physicality and hence the reason why Harden hopes the other guys will be ready for the banging. Sure, in Game 4, the Rockets may have gone small anyway just to change things up and that would have eaten into Nene's minutes, but not having him available at all is a enormous issue.