Despite the Warriors’ best efforts, the Rockets found a way to grind out the double-overtime win tonight at Oracle — 132-127. Golden State couldn’t find enough firepower to put away Houston, whose players made play after play down the stretch. This was the Rockets’ first regular-season win over the Warriors in nine tries, which ended the Dubs’ 12-game winning streak.
The game featured too many amazing individual performances to count. James Harden was virtually unstoppable on his way to a triple double, netting 29 points, 15 rebounds and 14 assists. He was supported by Ryan Anderson (Warrior Killer), who added 29 of his own, including some dagger three point shots down the stretch. And the role players for Houston killed Golden State all night, with guys like Sam Dekker scoring 11 big points late, and Eric Gordon hitting a tough runner in the second overtime on his way to 23 points off the bench.
Kevin Durant lead the way for Golden State, with 39 points. But he was three of 11 from three and missed a turnaround jumper in overtime that would have won the game at the buzzer.
Draymond Green had more big plays in this game than we could count. But he was flagged for a Flagrant 1 in double overtime that swayed the momentum and gave Houston an insurmountable lead. Green fell an assist short of a triple double, but his largest contributions were on the defensive end with steal after steal down the stretch.
The Warriors simply couldn’t catch the Rockets with their shooting, and when they did they couldn’t create enough separation to keep Houston away. A big reason for that was the poor shooting from the Splash Brothers, who combined for 13 of 42, shooting just seven of 26 from deep.
Curry did put in 28 on the evening, but those points didn’t come without trouble. He got into early foul trouble trying to cover Harden, made some bad defensive switches late in the fourth quarter, and then fouled out in overtime on an offensive foul. The Warriors’ scorers looked like they simply ran out of gas, and though Green tried to singlehandedly put them on his shoulders, he couldn't overcome shaky officiating and proficient shooting by Houston.
This seemed like the kind of game the Warriors would sleepwalk through for three quarters, and then find a way to pull it out at the end. The Rockets had no answer for their offense early, but then began matching Golden State basket for basket. But the deciding factor tonight was that Houston’s bench outscored the Warriors’ bench 49-23 — and simply executed better when it counted.
Golden State will have tomorrow off to rest up from the big minutes of tonight’s game before the team faces Phoenix at home on Saturday. Could Steve Kerr rest some of his guys after the long contest Thursday night?
Stephen Curry and crew won’t forget this game any time soon. Look for Thursday’s defeat to be another reality check to get the team refocused before entering a tough stretch going into December.