Mike D'Antoni: Warriors Have 'All the Pressure' to Win Game 4 vs. Rockets

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured 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

Even after a blowout loss to the Warriors Sunday night, Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni believes the pressure is on his opponent going forward.

"To me, Golden State has all the pressure," D'Antoni said Monday, per Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post. "They have to come in here and win tomorrow night."

Golden State earned a 126-85 win over Houston in Game 3 to go up 2-1 in the Western Conference Finals. The teams will return to action in Oracle Arena in Game 4 Tuesday.

Considering the Warriors set a record for the most consecutive home wins in playoff history with 16, per ESPN, they are in good shape to win the next game and take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.

According to OddsShark, the defending champions are listed as 8.5-point favorites in Game 4.

While this appears to put Houston in rough shape in the seven-game series, D'Antoni's words make sense when you consider the alternative.

If the Rockets win Game 4, the series would be even at 2-2 with two more games scheduled in the Toyota Center in Houston, a place where they are 40-9 this year (including 6-2 in the postseason). They could also gain some confidence from earning a rare road win in Oakland.

Additionally, it would put a lot of pressure on a Warriors team that hasn't seen a lot of close calls in the past few years. The last time Golden State lost two games in a single series was the 2016 NBA Finals, where the Cleveland Cavaliers overcame a 3-1 series deficit to win the championship.

Although the Rockets just suffered the worst playoff loss in franchise history, they can get right back in the series with a win in Game 4.

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