Thanks to an overtime victory in Game 4, the Houston Rockets have a chance to even up their Western Conference Semifinals series against the Golden State Warriors in Game 4.
This is the series much of the basketball world has been waiting for since the two squads’ epic seven-game showdown from last year ended with Golden State edging its rival in Houston to advance to the NBA Finals.
A win Monday night for Houston would even up the series, while a Warriors victory would all but seal their trip to the Western Conference Finals.
Here are some bold predictions ahead of this pivotal Game 4.
Stephen Curry stays cold, drags KD down with him
Curry would never give into the notion that his dislocated finger affected him in Game 3, but there’s no doubt it had an impact — even though it’s on his non-dominant hand. Truth be told, Curry was a downright liability in the game, especially in the fourth quarter and overtime.
We’re predicting Curry has another rough shooting night. Even worse for the Warriors, Kevin Durant will struggle, too. He’s been unstoppable so far in this series, scoring nearly 37 points per game. That incredible production will be halted in Game 4 as the hottest scorer in the Association will finally cool off.
Clint Capela busts out with 25-plus points
In terms of his status on Houston’s scoring hierarchy, Capela isn’t typically a top option. He’s averaged just 10.3 points per game in this series against the Warriors. But it’s worth pointing out that he has progressively gotten more involved in Houston’s offense in each of the three games.
On Monday night as Houston attempts to tie the series up, we predict that Capela will finally bust out with a big scoring game. Golden State’s big men aren’t exactly top rim defenders. Houston will feed Capela in the post, and he’ll deliver.
Klay Thompson finally gets hot from outside
Warriors fans have been waiting impatiently for Thompson to finally have one of “those” games. When he’s hot, there are few shooters in the NBA who can compete with Thompson from behind the arc. However, so far in this series, he’s hit just 7-of-20 shots from behind the three-point line.
As Curry and Durant struggle to hit their shots, Golden State will turn to Thompson for a scoring boost. He’ll deliver with a three-point barrage en route to a 30-plus scoring effort.
James Harden goes for 50-plus
For almost any other player in the NBA, this prediction would be bolder than bold. For Harden, it’s not really all that hard to imagine at all. After all, this is a guy who eclipsed 50 points eight times during the regular season.
Granted, Harden’s shooting touch has waned a bit during the playoffs compared to the regular season. But a guard who consistently gets as hot as he does is bound to get streaky hot at some point. We predict that will happen in Game 4.
Rockets win convincingly to tie series
Every game in this series so far has been tightly contested, with each one being decided by six points or less. On Monday night in Game 4, we’re predicting that changes.
Houston is going to have its best game of the series. With Durant and Curry both struggling offensively, and given the improved scoring from Capela and Harden, the Rockets are going to win by double digits to tie this thing up, 2-2.