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Harden’s 36 points bury early Warriors effort, Rockets win 129-112

The Beard started off slow, but turned up the heat in the second quarter.

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors were unable to overcome the superior firepower of the Houston Rockets, falling 129-112 in the Toyota Center.

James Harden shook off a slow start to light up Golden State for 36 points and 13 assists. All five Rockets starters scored in double figures.

Alec Burks led the Warriors in scoring with 28 points off of the bench. Eric Paschall scored 19 points, struggling from the field on a 6-of-15 shooting night. Glenn Robinson III had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

First Half

The Warriors made it clear early on that they weren’t intimidated by playing in the Toyota Center.

The second quarter was marked by Paschall delivering two beautiful, attacking drives to the basket. One was a physical, brute force, And-1 on Harden with the shot clock winding down. Another was a gorgeous dribble-drive from the corner to the rim for a ferocious jam.

Harden heated up as an MVP should, delivering a series of mesmerizing step-back triples and Eurostep layups. A 21-6 Houston run to close the second quarter gave them a commanding lead heading into the second half.

Harden finished the half with 24 points and 4 assists. Burks led the Dubs in scoring with 14 points of his own.

Rockets 63, Warriors 52

Second Half

Houston pushed their lead up to as high as 23, but a 12-0 Golden State run halfway through the third quarter cut the Rockets’ lead to 87-77. That was as close as they would get, as the Rockets were too deep and too experienced to be caught from behind by the young Warriors squad.

Golden State had difficulties defending the Rockets pick-and-roll attack, and found themselves in a never ending scramble as Houston ran their offense with ease.

This was a great learning experience for the young Dubs, as they got to see just how dangerous one of the NBA’s elite offenses is. Houston made 21-of-46 of their shots from downtown (46%), a number that would make them hard to beat on most nights. Golden State shot 40% from the field, as they missed having a creator like Stephen Curry, D’Angelo Russell, or hell even Draymond Green.

Oh well! On to Minnesota Friday at 5 P.M.