The San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets will battle it out in a huge game 4 Sunday night. Tip-off starts at 9:00 PM ET on TNT. We've seen a game where the Rockets came out firing in game 1, leading them to a blowout win. The Spurs answered back in game 2, responding with their own win in dominant fashion. In game 3, we had the chance to see both teams make adjustments that created much closer games than the two before it.

Game 3 recap

Despite James Harden's 43 points, the Spurs took down the Rockets 103 to 92. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge both had 26 points and the Spurs defended the Rockets well. Most of Harden's 43 came in the garbage time of this game. The Spurs had commanding leads and Harden decided to just try and do it all on his own, much like Russell Westbrook did against the Rockets just one series prior.

It didn't work out for Harden or the Rockets, and the Spurs picked them apart, focusing on making guys like Trevor Ariza be go-to on offense for Houston. The Spurs set it up to where defensively the mismatch would be with Ariza. Ariza isn't used to being that guy, and San Antonio did a great job of forcing Ariza out of his comfort zone.

Keys for San Antonio

The first big key for the Spurs is their defensive assignments.

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They did a good job without Tony Parker defending the Rockets, and even though Harden had 43, Kawhi was making everything Harden got really tough. This will be a huge key in game 4 as well. They have to make sure their rotations are on point and they have to run shooters off the three-point line. It's crucial that they make guys like Trevor Ariza, Eric Gordon, and Ryan Anderson be attackers and not shooters.

Those guys can do it but it's not nearly as effective for Houston as their role as a shooter is. On offense, LaMarcus Aldridge needs to be dominant again. He really opened up a ton for the Spurs by being effective. Kawhi is going to get his points, but it's big if they can get some secondary consistency out of Aldridge too. He had a huge game in game 3 and they need that again to take game 4.

Keys for Houston

The first huge key for the Rockets is on James Harden's shoulders.

He has to trust the system he's in. There's always a time for him to go into isolation and go to work, but he cannot trust that over the system. The Rockets are going to get up shots, and Harden has to trust that his teammates will put the ball in the hoop. Secondly, they need to dominate the rebounds. Clint Capela is a real good rebounder but the Spurs cannot out-rebound the Rockets if the Rockets want to win this game.

They need to get extra possessions on offense and limit the possessions of the Spurs offense. If they can do that they have a good chance.

This game will come down to efficiency and execution. If the Rockets can hit shots consistently in game 4, they'll have a great chance of winning. On the flip side, if the Spurs can dictate the flow of the game then they will be in a really good position.

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