National Basketball Association
San Antonio at Houston
When: 9:00 PM ET, Sunday, May 7, 2017
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
The San Antonio Spurs have recovered nicely from the series-opening beat down they suffered and look to take a 3-1 lead when they visit the Houston Rockets in Sunday's Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. San Antonio bounced back from a 27-point shellacking in Game 1 to win the next two games by an average of 18 points, including Friday's 103-92 win in Houston.
The Spurs prospered in Game 3 without the services of veteran point guard Tony Parker, who is out for the rest of the postseason after rupturing a quadriceps tendon in Game 2. Key reserve Patty Mills remained in a backup role and scored 15 points in 30 minutes and rookie Dejounte Murray (two points in 15 minutes) made the start and will be in the opening lineup again on Sunday. The high-scoring Rockets averaged just 94 points in the consecutive losses and the quartet of starter Ryan Anderson (two points) and reserves Eric Gordon (nine points), Nene (one) and Lou Williams (zero) combined for 12 points on 3-of-23 shooting in Game 3. "Offensively, we've just got to get guys involved," star point guard James Harden told reporters. "Guys just have to have confidence and knock down these shots and be aggressive."
9 p.m. ET, TNTABOUT THE SPURS:
Small forward Kawhi Leonard was solid in Game 3 with 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists but the bigger development was power forward LaMarcus Aldridge emerging from his two-game funk. Aldridge scored 26 points on 12-of-20 shooting in Game 3 after averaging just 9.5 points on 8-of-22 shooting over the first two games of the series. "This was his best game, obviously," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters of Aldridge. "He felt good. He was loose as far as his physical nature, his legs and everything. He wasn't too stiff, and it showed. He moved up and down the court well, he was able to push off on the block, he felt good shooting the ball."ABOUT THE ROCKETS:
Harden broke loose for the first time in the series with a 43-point effort in Game 3 after averaging 16.5 on 9-of-30 shooting over the first two games. Even with his big effort, the Houston offense wasn't clicking on all cylinders as only forward Trevor Ariza (17 points) and center Clint Capela (12 points, 16 rebounds) joined Harden in double figures. "We've got to drive it," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters, referencing the Spurs keeping the Rockets off the 3-point line. "We've got to make an extra pass. We've got to get it to the next guy. We've got to move the ball a little bit better. It's been easy all year. The first shot's there - now it might be like the third pass, and we've got to do a better job moving it."BUZZER BEATERS
1. Leonard is averaging 29.8 points with four 30-point outings in the postseason.
2. Capela is averaging 15.3 points (on 20-of-27 shooting) and 10.7 rebounds in the series.
3. Mills was just 4-of-14 shooting - including 2-of-10 from 3-point range - in Game 3.PREDICTION:
Spurs 105, Rockets 98
Stats and Records