The Cleveland Cavaliers closed out the Atlanta Hawks with a 4-0 sweep. The Golden State Warriors are now on the clock. With the Cavs already advanced to the 2015 NBA Finals, the pressure is now on Stephen Curry and co. to put the death grip on the Houston Rockets and move on to the final round of the playoffs.

That might be easier said than done, as Houston has been a tough out this post-season and has won their last four elimination games. While a 3-0 hole is beyond insurmountable on paper (no NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 hole in the playoffs), if anyone is going to do it, it might just be these Rockets.

Houston is without a doubt at their best with their backs against the wall, and with the season on the line they’ll surely be giving it their all as they try to leave nothing on the court. It could be a battle of desperation and panic, but all of the pressure truly is on the Warriors to close out the series. The only silver lining? They get to try to do it at home at Oracle Arena tonight.

Houston Rockets (2) @ Golden State Warriors (1) on ESPN at 9:00 pm ET

Golden State has lost one game on their home floor during their post-season run, while they only lost two other times at Oracle Arena during the regular season. None of those losses have come against the Rockets. Houston appears to be on life support with a 3-1 deficit in this series, but there is that shadow of a doubt that is hanging around because of their epic comeback in round two against the L.A. Clippers.

They also can probably take solace knowing they’re too far below Golden State, as they narrowly lost both games in Golden State (one by just a point) and only got blown out once. They were the ones who handed out the blowout in game four and suddenly this series has that odd feel that we got last round. Then again, the Warriors seem to have more mental toughness than the Clippers on paper and regardless of what the Rockets have done well in this series, containing Stephen Curry at no point has been remotely a strength.

The Warriors are understandably the favorite here (-10) and it’s entirely plausible that the Rockets could cave and get destroyed on the road. I don’t buy that. I was pretty shocked to see Houston get obliterated in game three, but if they were just going to lie down and die, they wouldn’t have won game four like they did (or at all). I expect a big fight from them, as Dwight Howard and James Harden aren’t about to go out like a bunch of chumps. Whether or not their role players show up will be the difference for them, but on the road, I’m guessing they won’t. Heck, even if they don’t, I just think the Warriors are the better team when it comes to fundamentals, closing games/series and execution in the crunch. I expect the Rockets to beat the spread, making them the ATS pick, but I love the Warriors straight up. I think the Total (216.5) is a tad ambitious, but this series has an explosive tendency and this is a massive game so I think it’s worth chasing.

Pick: Warriors 109, Rockets 107

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