Warriors take 3-0 lead over Rockets in Western finals

Sun May 24, 2015 12:52am EDT
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(Reuters) - The Golden State Warriors are one victory away from the NBA Finals after routing the Houston Rockets 115-80 in Game Three of the Western Conference finals on Saturday.

Guard Stephen Curry scored 40 points, including seven-of-nine from three-point range, in the Warriors' near-record road victory that gave them a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

It was the second largest victory margin by a visiting team in the conference finals.

Golden State, who have not been to the NBA finals since 1975, can close out the series in Game Four in Houston on Monday. No team has ever lost a best-of-seven playoff series from 3-0 up.

After giving the Warriors a close contest in the first two games, the Rockets were never in the hunt on Saturday as guard James Harden struggled against Golden State's stifling defense. He shot only three-for-16 for 17 points.

As brilliantly as Curry played, the Warriors won the match with their strong defense and dominance on the boards, out-rebounding Houston 60-39.

Coach Steve Kerr was delighted his team committed only one turnover in the first half.

"We were up 25 points with a box score that doesn't look that impressive from a shooting standpoint," Kerr told reporters.

"The first half was probably the best lesson our team could learn. If we defend like crazy and take care of the ball we're going to be in good shape."   Continued...

May 23, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) looks to shoot as Houston Rockets forward Josh Smith (5) defends during the game in game three of the Western Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports