The Houston Rockets breathed life into their second-round series against the Golden State Warriors with a 126-121 overtime win to make the series 2-1.
James Harden led the charge with 41 points on 19-of-32 shooting from the field and 5-of-13 from three, adding nine rebounds and six assists, while Eric Gordon drained seven 3-pointers on his way to 30 points.
Kevin Durant continued his red-hot form with a game-high 46 points, with all five Warriors starters scoring in double figures.
The Splash Brothers struggled on the night, however, shooting a combined 33.0 percent from the field (13-of-39). Klay Thompson managed just 16 points on 6-of-16 shooting, while Steph Curry couldn't get in his rhythm, with 17 points on 7-of-23 shooting, hitting just two of his nine 3-point attempts.
With the Rockets getting on the board in Game 3, here's four key takeaways from today's action...
Durant and Harden put on offensive duel for the ages
Kevin Durant and James Harden put on an offensive duel in Game 3, with Durant pouring in 46 points and Harden 41.
Their battle came down to the wire in the overtime period and in the final minute. Harden drained the long stepback jumper to give the Rockets a 124-118 lead with 49 seconds to go before Durant knocked down three clutch free throws on the next possession. Harden responded with a floater to put the Rockets up five, sealing the win.
In the third quarter, the two scorers put on a show, with Durant scoring 17 points on 3-of-6 shooting, doing the bulk of the damage at the free throw line (9-of-9) while Harden had 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, knocking down three triples.
.@JHarden13 and @KDTrey5 went back-and-forth in Q3! 🔥- NBA Fantasy (@NBAFantasy) May 5, 2019
Harden - 15 PTS
Durant - 17 PTS#NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/ZIsBe5b8Hc
With the Rockets taking a 91-84 lead into the fourth quarter, Durant quickly put the Warriors back on even footing, scoring 10 straight points to open the period.
KD (39 PTS) opens the 4th with 10 straight for the @warriors!#StrengthInNumbers 100#RunAsOne 102- NBA (@NBA) May 5, 2019
7:19 left on #NBAonABC pic.twitter.com/XyhIENwhhV
Amidst the back-and-forth encounter, the one-on-one matchup of these two former teammates stole the spotlight.
An uncharacteristic game from Curry
Stephen Curry's struggles in this series continued. He was limited to only 17 points in Game 3 on 7-for-23 shooting from the field and 2-for-9 from 3-point range.
According to Tommy Beer of Rotoworld, it's the first time in Curry's career that he's taken more than 22 shots in a game and scored less than 18 points.
Just an awful game for Steph Curry, who shot just 7-of-23 from the field.- Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) May 5, 2019
In fact, including the regular season and the playoffs, Curry has played in 793 NBA games.
Tonight was the first time ever in his career he attempted more than 22 shots and scored fewer than 18 points
Curry did most of his damage in the first half and struggled late, combining to miss all six of his shot attempts in the fourth quarter and overtime, including an uncontested dunk in the closing seconds that would've made it a one possession game.
Curry's last basket of the game came on a layup with 2:18 to play in the third quarter.
Curry didn't do much else in the loss either. He finished with four assists, three rebounds and two steals, and once again dealt with foul trouble.
"Just a tough night for him," Steve Kerr said afterwards of Curry's performance.
Eric Gordon leads Rockets role players
The Rockets are at their best when their role players are hitting shots and the supporting cast stood tall in front of their home fans in Game 3, led by Eric Gordon.
Gordon set the tone with his aggression from the jump, taking over the second quarter, scoring 13 of the Rockets' 33 second-quarter points on his way to 20 first-half points, a career-high for points in a half.
He finished with 30 points on 11-of-20 shooting, knocking down 7-of-14 from three, while playing lockdown defence against the Warriors backcourt.
Eric Gordon sinks 4 triples en route to 20 1st half PTS in Game 3! #RunAsOne #NBAPlayoffs- NBA (@NBA) May 5, 2019
📺: #NBAonABC pic.twitter.com/rZgyBxYiq9
The Rockets outscored the Warriors 33-23 in the second quarter, taking control of the game.
While Gordon led the charge, reserves Iman Shumpert, Nene and Austin Rivers gave them quality minutes as they built a 58-49 halftime lead. Shumpert kept it up in the third, knocking down a pair of huge triples, going 3-of-5 on the night.
PJ Tucker chipped in seven points and 12 rebounds, coming up with some timely buckets in OT, while playing some great late game defence on Kevin Durant.
The Rockets showed more desperation than the Warriors, getting to loose balls, fighting for offensive rebounds and clamping down on defence - and Tucker was at the heart of it.
Houston outrebounded Golden State 55-35 with Tucker and Clint Capela (13 points, 11 rebounds) each hauling in five offensive boards.
Draymond Green continues to shine
Nobody loves playoff intensity more than Draymond Green and the Warriors forward was again at the heart of the action, continuing his postseason form with his sixth playoff career triple-double - 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
Draymond Green notched his sixth career triple-double in the #NBAPlayoffs - as many as every other player in Warriors team history combined. #GSWvsHOU- StatMuse (@statmuse) May 5, 2019
📊 https://t.co/WbYwbxaBzi pic.twitter.com/CgN6qEqoW5
"He's playing at a really really high level," coach Kerr said post-game. "I thought he was fantastic tonight."
Green had been awesome in three games against the Rockets, averaging 16 points, 10.7 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game on 65.5 percent shooting from the field.