Game 3 wasn’t, by literal definition, a must-win game for Houston. In practical terms though, it was. If Houston went down 0-3 to the Rockets, you could turn out the lights and start putting the chairs up on the tables because the series would have been all but closed.
James Harden did what superstars do in big moments — he stepped up and got his team a win.
It wasn’t an uber-efficient Harden night — he was 9-of-18 shooting in the paint and got to the free throw line 8 times, good but not stunning numbers from the reigning MVP. However, he hit big shots and big moments, and he got more help than Kevin Durant did.
The Rockets got their win, but are going to need even more Harden in Game 4 Monday, or Houston will find itself in a real must-win situation.