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                ***** NBA Previews from The Sports Network *****
                                Saturday, May 23
                              (All times Eastern)
 
 
 (1) GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (2-0) AT (2) HOUSTON ROCKETS (0-2), 9 P.M.
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - The Golden State Warriors will try for a commanding lead
 over the Houston Rockets Saturday night when Game 3 of the Western Conference
 Finals heads to the Toyota Center.
 
 The Warriors defended their home court at Oracle Arena, including an intense,
 99-98 victory Thursday.
 
 Golden State saw an eight-point lead trimmed to one following a James Harden
 to Dwight Howard alley-oop with 33.0 seconds left. After Harrison Barnes
 missed a reverse layup at the other end, the Rockets raced the ball up the
 court rather than draw up a final play.
 
 Harden was double-teamed by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson with time winding
 down and curiously passed to Howard on the perimeter. Howard hot-potatoed the
 ball right back, Curry poked the ball between Harden's legs, and the clock
 struck zero before anyone gained control.
 
 "I will take our best player heading downhill on a broken court any day of the
 week. That's where he feasts," Rockets head coach McHale said, describing the
 last play.
 
 Curry scored 33 points to follow up his 34-point showing in the series opener,
 and Andrew Bogut stepped up with 14 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.
 Curry and Harden were both named to the All-NBA First Team on Thursday, while
 Thompson, who scored 13 points on 15 shots was named to the Third Team. Golden
 State's Draymond Green filled the box score with 12 points, eight rebounds and
 seven assists.
 
 The final sequence spoiled an otherwise sublime game from Harden, who finished
 with 38 points on 13-of-21 shooting and added 10 rebounds and nine assists.
 
 "It was frustrating to give the game away like that," a disappointed Harden
 said. "It was a tough (final) play."
 
 Dwight Howard played 40-plus minutes despite battling a left knee injury and
 totaled 19 points and 17 boards in a losing effort. Josh Smith scored 10
 points and 17 shots for the Rockets.
 
 The Warriors never trailed in the fourth quarter and appeared to pull away
 when Curry took over with under three minutes remaining. After stealing a lazy
 Trevor Ariza pass, Curry hit a step-back jumper with a hand in his face, then
 drove left and threw a baseline bounce pass to a driving Bogut, who withstood
 a Howard shove and snuck in a runner for a 96-89 lead.
 
 It was still an eight-point game before Harden made two free throws, went in
 for an uncontested dunk and made two more from the stripe to pull the Rockets
 within 99-96 with under a minute to play.
 
 Corey Brewer forced an 8-second violation in the backcourt, and Howard's slam
 preceded the dramatic finish.
 
 "It's great competition," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "It's two teams that
 really want to win and get to the Finals."
 
 The Warriors won two straight and three of their last four in Houston.
 
 Game 4 will be Monday night.
 
 05/23 09:18:00 ET

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