Mike D'Antoni Says Rockets 'Played Soft' in Game 3 Blowout Loss vs. Warriors

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2018

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni walks during the second half of Game 3 of the NBA basketball Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, May 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Head coach Mike D'Antoni isn't mincing words after the Houston Rockets' 41-point embarrassment at the hands of the Golden State Warriors Sunday.

"We played soft, actually. You can't do that with these guys—these guys are good," D'Antoni told reporters after Game 3. "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."

The Warriors closed the first quarter on an 11-0 run and never trailed again, pulling away in the second half for a 126-85 win at Oracle Arena. Houston shot just 39.5 percent from the floor and did not get a good performance from any of its stars.

James Harden and Chris Paul combined for just 33 points on 12-of-32 shooting. Paul was particularly bad in his 13-point, 10-rebound double-double, making just five of his 16 shot attempts.

"They gave us a haymaker and we went down," D'Antoni told reporters of his team.

Billed as a matchup of the two best teams in basketball, the Western Conference Finals have been a clear dud through three games. No game has been decided by fewer than 13 points, and the three games combined have had a separation of 76 points.

The good news for the Rockets: The Warriors survived a 22-point shellacking in Game 2 to come out and punch Houston in the gut in Game 3.

D'Antoni and the Rockets will hope the result is the same Tuesday night in Game 4.

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