The Warriors, behind a strong defensive performance, come back to defeat the Houston Rockets Friday night at Oracle Arena

March 31, 2017

Golden State Warriors, NBA

by Jerry Feitelberg

Oakland- The Warriors won their 10th game in a row as they came back to subdue the Houston Rockets and win 107-98. The Warriors improved to 62-14 and have five of the next six games at home. The magic number to clinch home-court advantage throughout the playoffs is four. Any combination of Warrior wins or Spurs losses will give the Dubs the best record in the NBA.

The Warriors started strong as they jumped out to an early 10-2 lead. The Rockets went on a 13-2 run to take the lead 15-12. The Warriors offense went south as they scored just 11 points in the last 9 and 1/2 minutes of play in the first quarter. The Rockets led 45-33 about halfway through the second quarter. At this point, Warrior coach Steve Kerr inserted big JaVale McGee into the game and did he ever impact the game. McGee was instant offense as he scored thirteen points and led the Warriors on a 10-2 run at the end of the first half. Andre Iguodala had another big night, and he was able to hit a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to keep the Warriors close. The Rockets owned a 61-56 lead after 24 minutes of play. JaVale led the Dubs with 13, Klay Thompson had 10, and Andre tallied 8. Steph Curry was held to just 5 points. Eric Gordon had 10 for Houston and the Dubs defense held James Harden to just seven.

The teams played a very competitive third quarter. The Warriors outscored the Rockets 27-24 but could not take the lead. They tied at 78, but the Rockets were able to regain the lead 85-78. The Warriors were able to score the last five points of the quarter to trail 85-83.

The Dubs continued to play excellent defense, and they shut down the high-powered Houston offense. The Rockets were ahead 92-88 when the Dubs went on a 12-0 run to take the lead for good. The Rockets failed to score a single point for over 6 and 1/2 minutes. Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala made steals, and blocked shots as Steph Curry finally found his three-point shot. Steph also made a two-point shot as the 24-second buzzer sounded. Steph’s bucket sealed the win for the Warriors.

Game Notes and Stats- JaVale McGee had a big night and made a huge impact. McGee played just 11 minutes but knocked down 13 points, and had 4 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. Steph Curry finished with 24 points. Curry scored 14 in the 3rd quarter. Steph had 5 assists and 7 rebounds. Klay Thompson finished with 20. Andre Iguodala continued to elevate his game. His line was 14 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Ian Clark had seven, and he made a three-point shot with the scored tied at 92 to give the Warriors their first lead since early in the first period.  Draymond Green finished the night with 6 points, 8 assists, 6 boards, and 3 blocks. The Warriors shot 45.3% from the floor and held the Rockets to 37%.  On defense, the Warriors had 10 steals and 14 blocks. The Rockets’ James Harden led his team with 17, Trevor Ariza 15, Eric Gordon 15, Patrick Beverly 11. Lou Williams, coming off the bench for Houston scored 13.

The Warriors, in the last 4 games, beat Memphis, Houston(twice), and San Antonio. Steve Kerr said, ” it has been a great week and a great couple of weeks.” He commented this about the defense: ” our defense has been great”  Kerr said this about JaVale McGee” JaVale had one stretch in the second quarter. It was big.” It was really huge as he got the Dubs offense going as Houston was having their way against the Dubs at that point in the game.

The Warriors next game will be at Oracle Arena Sunday against the Washington Wizards. Game time will be at 5 pm. The Dubs lost to Washington on February 28th. Kevin Durant was injured that night and the Warriors will be looking to inflict a measure of revenge on the Wizards Sunday night.



About rxslugger

Retired pharmacist who now has a career as a sports writer and broadcaster

View all posts by rxslugger


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