Entering this game, the Warriors were undefeated when sporting their Slate Night jerseys on Saturdays and they continued the trend against an uptempo Rockets team.
Both teams started off gunning shot after shot in a back-and-forth opening quarter. While Golden State started off the game shooting 52% from the field, Houston made their living at the line with 14 free throw attempts compared to the Warriors' five at the end of the first quarter resulting in a 31-31 tie.
The game continued to be filled with an array of quick shots, heat checks, layups and dunks in the second quarter as the Warriors held a slim 64-59 advantage at the half.
However, it was after the break when the Warriors pulled away and never looked back. James Harden had been struggling from the field throughout the whole game as the primary option. While Dwight Howard had a great line of 23 points and 10 rebounds, Golden State did a steady job of keeping Houston off the three point line by closing out and contesting the shooters, ultimately disrupting Houston's Moreyball offense
The Rockets tried to make a last ditch effort to close the gap in the final quarter but Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson caught fire and fuel the Warriors to the victory. Curry finished with 27 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds and Thompson added 27 points himself.
- If you look at Houston's 2014-15 shot chart, you will see that their offensive system is simple - a ton of threes (corner threes in particular) and points in the paint. For a team who leads the NBA in 3-point makes at 11.9 per game per ESPN Stats, the Warriors' defense pushed the ball off the three-point line and allowed the Rockets to only seven three pointers the whole game.
- Golden State's second unit played exceptionally well and were led by Marreese Speights and David Lee who were killer off the bench. Mo Speights on the pick and pop was like bread and butter -- or should I say "pop"corn and butter -- while Lee seemed like his old self on face-up jumpers and drive-ins. The duo combined for 33 points and 13 rebounds almost outscoring the output of Harden (12 points) and Howard (23 points).
- Speaking of James Harden, Klay Thompson played tremendous defense on the NBA's current leading scorer. Thompson held Harden to 12 points on an ugly 4-15 from the field and no three point makes. Additionally, Harden committed five fouls and three turnovers, not able to find any rhythm as Klay recorded a career high five blocks in the process.
- Golden State's offense and ball movement were on point, making 32 assists on 50 baskets. Once they found their rhythm, the Warriors scored easily on back door cuts, misdirection cuts, transition layups off of quick outlets, pull-up threes, etc. PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING
- Andre Iguodala was tagged with a technical foul for kicking Corey Brewer's shoe out of the way. We all remember when Tyson Chandler swatted Mo Speights shoe and he didn't get T'ed up.
Next up: Nuggets vs. Warriors @ Oracle Arena, CA, January 19, 1:00pm
Watch on: CSN Bay Area
Listen on: KNBR 680 AM