After an impressive performance in Game 2, the Houston Rockets fell flat in Game 3, suffering a 41-point loss to the Golden State Warriors .
The Rockets were on the back foot from the jump, trailing 31-22 after the first quarter and while the Warriors were playing with a renewed energy on their home floor, the Rockets' effort level just wasn't up to scratch according to coach Mike D'Antoni.
"We played soft, actually. You can't do that with these guys - these guys are good," D'Antoni told reporters post-game . "We still might not have won, you gotta play well. We didn't make shots early, we turned it over...it was not a very good game."
Houston rallied briefly in the third quarter, but before they could build any real momentum, Steph Curry found his offensive rhythm, scoring 18 of his game-high 35 points in the period, with a series of drives to the basket and of course a few trademark back-breaking threes.
James Harden, who finished with 20 points on 7-of-16 shooting, echoed his coach's sentiments post-game.
"He's right. We weren't as aggressive as we needed to be," Harden said. "We started off the game pretty solid and we let them gain some confidence."
"The second half, we came out too slow, too slow, too soft," Harden added. "Offensively, we didn't have any thrust and they exploited it."