Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole (3) celebrates with Klay Thompson, left, after scoring a 3-point basket against the Houston Rockets during the first half at the Chase Center in San Francisco on Fri Feb 24, 2023 (AP News photo)
By Jerry Feitelberg
The understaffed Golden State Warriors faced off against the young Houston Rockets Friday night at the Chase Chase. The Warriors were without Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins(for personal reasons), and Draymond Green, out with a knee contusion suffered in the loss to the Lakers Thursday night in Los Angeles.
Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr had Jonathan Kuminga fill in for Green. Donte DiVincenzo replaced Andrew Wiggins in the lineup. Poole and Klay Thompson were in the backcourt. The Rockets arrived in town owning a seven-game losing streak. Their coach, Stephen Silas, hoped his young troops could pull off the upset. The Rockets gave the Warriors a tussle in the first quarter, but the defending NBA champions, behind Thompson’s stellar performance, pulled out a win beating Houston 116-101.
The Rockets had an early lead, 12-5. The Warriors regained the lead 17-16, and the fans started thinking that the Warriors would easily beat the Rockets. That didn’t happen as the teams battled to a 26-26 tie at the end of the first quarter.
Things changed in the second quarter. Thompson got into a rhythm and knocked down four threes to lead the Warriors to a 66-49 advantage at the end of the first half. Poole had two threes, and DiVincenzo made four threes. The Warriors outscored the Rockets 40-23 in the second period.
The Warriors did not put the game away in the third quarter. The Warriors started giving the Rockets opportunities to score points. The Warriors committed too many turnovers, allowing the Rockets to shave eight points off the Warriors halftime advantage. The Warriors led by nine heading into the fourth quarter.
The Warriors had an answer. His name is Klay Thompson. Thompson, playing in back-to-back games for just the second time this season, continued to knock down three-point shots. With his 12th three of the night, the Warriors led 116-99. The game was over. The Warriors went on to win.
Game Notes: With the win, the Warriors are now 30-30. The Rockets lost their eighth in a row, and their season record in now 13-46.
The Warriors had four players in double-figures. Thompson led the way with 42 points. His 12 three-pointers were two short of his NBA record of 14. Thompson did not have a two-point bucket all night. His other six points were free throws. Poole and DiVincenzo each had 15. Poole made two threes, while DiVincenzo had five. The other player in double-figure was Patrick Baldwin, Jr. PBJ made three threes.
The Rockets had five players in double figures. Jabari Smith, in his rookie season, had 13. Kenyon Marttin, Jr., 22. Jae’Sean Tate, 14, TyTy Washington, Jr., 15, and Josh Christoper, 13.
The Warriors shot 47% from the floor. They made 26 three in 47 tries. The big negative of the night was the 18 turnovers.
The Warriors meet the Minnesota Timberwolves Sunday night at the Chase Center. The game will start at 5:30m pm.