The Houston Rockets were outplayed in the third quarter during their western conference semi-finals clash against Los Angeles Clippers, who took a 2-1 lead in the best of seven series.
Rockets were going head to head, but the 22-year-old Clippers player, Austin Rivers, took the game by storm as he scored 15 points in the third quarter.
The Rockets were caught by surprise as Rivers stole the show in the second half so much so that the home fans chanted his name and even gave him a standing ovation as Chris Paul substituted Rivers.
Overall, Rivers, who is the son of Clippers' coach, Doc Rivers, scored 25 points. It was an amazing performance by Rivers and the team will once again look forward to his exploits in game 4 at Staples Center on Sunday, as they will be eager to take a 3-1 lead and make Rockets' road back difficult.
"Austin was unbelievable," AP quoted Paul as saying.
"I was probably his biggest cheerleader in the third quarter. I just kept saying, 'I don't want to play anymore if I don't have to.'"
Clippers' fans might have been a happier lot to see Paul in action as well, who had missed their first two games due to an injury. Though Paul only played 23 minutes, his presence in the team lifts players.
The difference between the two sides was the all important third quarter where the Clippers scored 35 points compared to Rockets' 19, else other quarters were a closely contested one.
Rockets coach, Kevin McHale also felt the same as their defence looked helpless in the third quarter.
"We just let go of the rope and they piled on us," coach McHale said. "We got rattled in that third quarter. Our team defence went to hell."
The Rockets should put their game 3 demons behind, as they are required to come back into the series on Sunday. They have the players in their squad to script a series win as well, but they need to fire together as a unit.
James Harden and Dwight Howard have been two standout performers for the Rockets in NBA playoffs 2015, but other players such as Trevor Ariza, Josh Smith and Jason Terry need to stand up and be counted if they desire to lift the NBA title.
The Rockets need to come up with their regular season form, which helped them finish second in the western conference. They won 56 games and lost 26 prior to the playoffs.
Where to Watch Live
The NBA Playoffs semi-finals game 4 between Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets is scheduled for 8:30pm ET (6am IST, 1:30am BST) start.
Viewers in the US can watch the game live on TNT.
Indian viewers can watch it live on Sony Six.
NBA fans can also watch the Playoffs live on NBA.com