A LOOK AHEAD

John Granato: Things that will happen at some point in the Rockets-Warriors series

James Harden's Rockets and the Warriors will make you think about several things this series. Rockets.com

At some point in this series…

You will marvel at how pretty Steph Curry’s jumper is.

The refs will have to decide on a flagrant one or two on Draymond Green.

You will hate Kevin Durant’s mouthpiece.

You will see a picture of Clint Capela next to this quote: “We are better than them.”

You will wonder why Draymond Green thought those clothes all went together.

At some point in this series…

Charles Barkley will say the Rockets just aren’t good enough.

You will laugh when James Harden and Draymond Green flop simultaneously.

You will wonder why Steph Curry took that crazy shot but then it goes in and you just shake your head.

You will be jealous of how pretty Oracle Arena looks just before tipoff.

At some point in this series…

You will jump out of your seat and yell at Draymond Green even though he can’t hear you because you’re in your house.

You will wonder why Gerald Green took that crazy shot but then it goes in and you just shake your head.

You will think that Klay Thompson is not really all that good at basketball.

You will think that Klay Thompson is unstoppable.

Draymond Green and P.J. Tucker will get tangled up and tempers will flare.

At some point in this series...

James Harden will make one of the prettiest passes you’ve ever seen.

The refs will have to look at another Draymond Green foul to see if it was a flagrant one or two.

The announcer will mention that this is Chris Paul’s first trip to the Conference Finals.

James Harden will walk around with his hands out in disbelief at a call.

Chris Paul and Kevin Durant will trade big mid-range jumpers.

At some point in this series...

Trevor Ariza will hit a huge 3 that will bring the crowd to its feet.

You will think the Warriors uniforms are cool.

You will throw something at your TV because of Draymond Green.

Charles Barkley will admit that he was wrong and the Rockets are better than he thought.

You will think that these Warriors might be the best basketball team you’ve ever seen.

At some point in this series…

Draymond Green’s leg will have a spastic attack and he’ll kick someone in a bad place.

James Harden will make one of the ugliest passes you’ve ever seen.

Steve Kerr will have a hair out of place.

Warriors fans will scream that James Harden just walked.

You will wonder why Chris Paul thought those clothes all went together.

At some point in this series…

P.J. Tucker will hit a huge 3 that will bring the crowd to its feet.

The refs will have to decide if another Draymond Green foul was a flagrant one or two.

You will hate Steph Curry’s mouthpiece

Draymond Green will skip down the court nodding and smiling and taunting the Toyota Center crowd.

At some point in this series…

You will worry that Clint Capela will get a max offer from another team this offseason

You will hate that there are so many days off between games.

You will hate Draymond Green.

James Harden will have a shot that will decide his big game legacy.

You will be proud of your Rockets.















 

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Houston's winning streak is up to nine

Astros secure series over Orioles as winning streak continues

Zack Greinke provided another long outing for his team on Tuesday. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

After continuing their recent dominance with a lopsided win over this Orioles team on Monday in the rain-plagued opener, the Astros eyed number nine in a row if they could do it again on Tuesday. Though not as one-sided, the Astros would get the victory to secure the series win.

Final Score: Astros 3, Orioles 1

Astros' Record: 45-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (8-2)

Losing Pitcher: Jorge Lopez (2-9)

A tame start for Houston's offense

After a scoreless first inning on both sides, Myles Straw started the scoring with two outs in the top of the second, sneaking a ball off and over the left-field wall just out of the grasp of Austin Hays for a solo homer to put Houston ahead 1-0. After Baltimore tied the game in the third, the game remained gridlocked 1-1 until the top of the seventh, when Chase McCormick would reach on a one-out infield single then raced around to score on a Myles Straw RBI single, putting Houston back in front 2-1.

Greinke pitches into the eighth

Over that span, Zack Greinke was getting efficient innings against Baltimore's lineup. He allowed that trying run in the third, which came after a one-out walk moved to third on a single, then scored on a sac fly. That was one of his few moments with runners in scoring position, as he erased a single in the first, a single in the fourth, and a double in the seventh to maintain the new 2-1 lead.

The Astros loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the eighth but came away with only one run of insurance on a McCormick sac fly, making it 3-1 as Greinke returned to the mound to continue working. He allowed a leadoff single then retired the next batter before Dusty Baker would come out to get him as the left-handed portion of the lineup was due up and a better match for Brooks Raley, who had been warming. Greinke's final line: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 91 P.

Astros make it nine in a row

Raley completed the eighth for Greinke with two strikeouts to strand the inherited runner. With it still a two-run game in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly entered for the save. He erased a two-out single to finish things off, giving Houston their ninth win in a row and securing the series with a chance at the sweep in the finale.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set will be another 6:05 PM Central start time on Wednesday. Thomas Eshelman (0-0, 1.93 ERA) will be on the mound for Baltimore to face the Astros, while Jose Urquidy (5-3, 3.65 ERA) will start for Houston.

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