Photo credit: @warriors
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors had hoped to rebound after being routed by the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night, and rolled over the hapless Houston Rockets 108-94 at the Toyota Center in Houston.
The Rockets’ two best players, John Wall and Victor Oladipo, did not play. Wall is out with an injury, and Oladipo did not play in back-to-back games. Most of the names in the lineup probably were not well known to Warrior fans. The Warriors, who have lost five of their last six games, wanted to get back on the winning track against Houston.
However, in the NBA, teams–no matter how dreadful–cannot be taken lightly. The Rockets played a very competitive first quarter. The Warriors turned the ball over seven times in the period, which led to 10 Houston points. Stephen Curry paced the Warrior offense with 13. Houston led 21-18 when the Warriors went on an 11-0 run to go-ahead 29-21. The Rockets scored the next six points to close the gap to two 29-27. Curry made a bucket to give the Warriors the lead at the end of the quarter 31-27.
In the second quarter, the new-look second unit helped outscore the Rockets by 20 points, 37-17, to end the first half with a commanding 24-point lead, 68-44. Since returning from the G-League, Jordan Poole, who has been sensational, led the assault with 15 points, including four threes from downtown. Andrew Wiggins had 15, Curry had 13, and Kelly Oubre had 10. Houston’s leading scorers were Kevin Porter with 13, Christian Wood with nine, and Kenyon Martin with seven.
Houston came to life in the third period. The Rockets outscored the Warriors 27-18. Curry was cold from behind the three-point arc. He finished the night with two threes in 11 tries. Draymond Green continued to play well, finishing the night with a triple-double. Although the Warriors played well on both ends of the court, the one flaw in the game was the number of fouls they committed.
Houston was able to get closer as a result. The Warriors led by fifteen, 86-71, at the end of the third quarter. The Warriors had to hold their collective breaths as Curry fell on his backside as the quarter ended. He limped to the locker room and did not return. He was diagnosed with a tailbone contusion.
The second unit played well in the fourth quarter. Jordan Poole continued to play well. He knocked down two more threes to finish the night with a career-high six threes. Kelly Oubre, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green refused to let the Rockets get back into the game. The Warriors won the game 108-94.
Game Notes and Stats: With the win, the Warriors are now 21-20 for the season. The Rockets set a team record with their 18th loss in a row, and are now 11-28.
Draymond Green had his 27th career triple-double. The Warriors are 26-1 in those games. Jordan Poole led the Warriors with 23 points. Curry had 18 points, five rebounds, and eight assists. Kelly Oubre had 19 points, while Andrew Wiggins had 17 points. Draymond Green had a season-high 16 points. He pulled down 12 rebounds and had 10 assists. The Warriors shot 45.6% from the floor. They were 16-for 45 from downtown. They recorded 32 assists on 41 made field goals. The Rockets outrebounded the Warriors 67-50. The Warriors gave the Rockets 40 free threes. Fortunately, the Rockets made only 21.
Kevin Porter led the Rockets with 25 points. Christian Wood had 21 points, and Kenyon Martin added 13 points.
Up Next: The Warriors play the Memphis Grizzlies in back-to-back games Friday and Saturday in Memphis. The game will start at 5 pm PST.