GameChangers (05/22/15)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Game-changing plays from the NBA Playoffs.

To highlight the Live ScoreCaster, we took our in-game technology to the next level to review the game-changing plays from the NBA Playoffs and what the game would have looked like if the plays had turned out differently.

Click the header below to view the Game Breakdown for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.

Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 33 points, James Harden rallied the Rockets from a 17-point deficit and Game 2 ended in the closing seconds with the NBA MVP and the runner-up battling. Golden State held off Houston to win 99-98 to take a 2-0 series lead.

The Rockets could have won if…

Harden scored 38 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out nine assists. In the final seconds he had the ball in his hands, with a chance to win the game, but turned the ball over.

We simulate every play of every game 50,000 times to predict the most likely outcome. Unfortunately for Harden and the Rockets they only had one chance to win the game.

If Harden had another opportunity, the Rockets with possession and trailing by one point with eight seconds to play, Houston becomes 50.1% likely to win.

Additional Game Notes:
The Rockets are 0-6 against the Warriors this season. Houston hasn't won in the Oracle since December 2013.

The Warriors were the projected favorite for the entire game, even when trailing by as many as six points in the second half.