Los Angeles (dpa) – Stephen Curry scored a spectacular 40 points Saturday night and the Golden State Warriors moved to within one win of their first NBA Finals in 40 years, with a convincing 115-80 road rout of the Houston Rockets.
Draymond Green had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the top-seeded Warriors, who opened a virtually insurmountable 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals. In 116 tries, no team in NBA history has rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven playoff series.
The NBA Most Valuable Player, Curry dueled James Harden of the Rockets through the first two games, a pair of narrow home wins by the top-seeded Warriors. This game was no contest, primarily because Curry thoroughly outplayed Harden, the MVP runner-up.
After averaging 33.5 points with 11 three-pointers and 5.5 assists in the first two games, Curry shot a scorching 12-of-19 from the field, including 7-of-9 from the arc, while adding seven assists. He scored 14 points in a three-minute stretch of the second quarter and 10 in a three-minute span of the third period.
Curry also shattered the NBA record for three-pointers in a postseason with 64 in 13 games. The previous mark was 58 by Reggie Miller in 22 games in 2000.
Meanwhile, Harden had trouble finding his rhythm and finished with 17 points on 3-of-16 shooting. He had averaged 33.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 9.0 assists through the first two games.
Golden State has not been to the NBA Finals since winning its last title in 1975.
Dwight Howard had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the second-seeded Rockets, who will try to avoid the sweep in Game 4 on Monday.