Motiejūnas got his second playoff start on Thursday and produced his first playoff career double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds in the 97-96 win. He was a force in the paint, grabbing rebounds and toughening up the Rockets defence.
Meanwhile, Jonas Valunčiūnas had nine points and 14 rebounds as Toronto hammered Indiana to take a 2-1 lead in the series. While not hitting the scoring heights of previous games, he's averaging a league-best 16 rebounds in the playoffs.
Motiejūnas missed Houston’s play-off series against the Warriors last year because of a back injury that required surgery. Last night’s victory brought the series back to 2-1 in the Warriors’ favour.
"It's Game 3, we are at home, so you have to do everything you can to get a win," Motiejūnas said. "Be tougher, more aggressive, play better."
"Last year was very tough," he said. "I wanted to be out there and had to stay home and watch. I want to be able to do whatever I can to contribute."
Rockets interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff said: "He brings us a spark and plays with a lot of effort. He also helps us space the floor and open things up."
In Toronto, the media are comparing Valunčiūnas to a Spartan warrior from the movie “300” for his power play in the paint and dominance on the boards – he’s the league-leader in rebounding.
It prompted prompting Pacers star Paul George to say after game 2 that: “he's the one that's causing us problems right now. He's been huge. Literally."
Toronto coach Dwane Casey weighed in as well: "He's not a finished product. He's going to get better. Sky's the limit for that young man."
Valunčiūnas and company are heading to Indianapolis for Game 4 on Saturday and will be looking to capitalise on their recent good form on the road there. Then the series heads back to Toronto for Game 5 on Tuesday.
Likewise Houston will be hoping that after that one point win over the Stephen Curry-less Warriors is the start of a famous comeback, with Motiejūnas central to their attempts to overturn a 2-1 deficit on Game 4 on Sunday and Game 5 on Tuesday in Oakland.
A statue of Lithuanian poet and diplomat Oscar Milosz (Oskaras Milasius in Lithuanian) has been...
Lithuania will provide assistance to Lithuanians living in Venezuela to relocate because of the...
The Cabinet will consider this week whether to help Lithuanians living in Venezuela to relocate to...
The Seimas of Lithuania on Tuesday created conditions for the establishment of a special...