Curry-less Warriors Down Rockets For 2-0 Series Advantage

By Shawn Whelchel

sfgate.com photo: Golden State’s Klay Thompson goes for the high percentage points as Thompson help lead the team without injured Stephen Curry in game two on Monday night

Without the services of their injured MVP-Steph Curry-the Golden State Warriors banded together with a solid team effort that featured a cast of supporters stepping into the spotlight in order to take a commanding 2-0 series lead at Oracle on Monday.

The other half of the Splash Brothers tandem-Klay Thompson picked up the slack for his injured teammate, pouring in a game-leading 34 points in the second game of this playoff series, to secure a  115-109 win for the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.

Showcasing the type of depth that has made Golden State a nightmare for teams all year long, a slew of other Warriors stepped up in Curry’s absence to offer the Rockets no reprieve from their ruthless manner of scoring. Andre Iguodala was just one of many who had done so, coming off the bench to score 18 points while shooting a lights-out 7-of-10 from the field.  Shaun Livingston- who replaced the injured Curry with his 11th career playoff start- did his part by contributing 16 points on an even better 7-of-9 from range.

The Rockets main source of offense came from James Harden, whose knack for getting to the free-throw line helped to contribute to his 28 total points on the night. Harden finished with 15 attempts, knocking in 13 free points. Dwight Howard attempted just seven shots on the night, connecting with five, in an effort that looked-at times- lifeless.

It wasn’t easy for Golden State, however. With just under ten minutes to go, the Rockets’ Jason Terry made it a one possession game on a pair of free-throws. But the Warriors responded with an 11-1 run that would ultimately put the dagger in the heart of any comeback attempts from Houston.

The Rockets looked more lively than they did in their stale game one, but were met with an answer almost every time they made a push against Golden State. The team would bend in the fourth, but would show the resilience that helped to make them NBA Champions last year by not breaking.

It was a resilient effort and a display of depth for Golden State, who finished with four starters in double-digits, and 37 points from the bench. The win also gives Curry extra time to heal his ailing ankle, as the Warriors don’t take to the court until Thursday in Houston. With a commanding 2-0 lead, head coach Steve Kerr could decide to give Curry an even longer break and rest his star again.

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