The Golden State Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets 121-116 on Monday evening, improving to 7-8 on the season. It may have taken longer than the team hoped, but the Warriors finally have their second home victory of the year.
The Dubs stumbled out of the gate, allowing the Rockets to jump out to an early first quarter lead. However, Dario Šarić, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody led the bench unit to a strong finish to the quarter, putting Golden State ahead 29-27.
The Warriors steadily built upon their lead over the next two quarters but were unable to put the Rockets away. Houston dominated on the glass, racking up nearly two times more offensive rebounds than Golden State, and was able to utilize those second-chance opportunities to keep up with a Warriors offense that was shooting with incredible efficiency, got to the free-throw line regularly, and did not commit a lot of turnovers.
But the Dubs found a rhythm and some big plays late in the first half, and stretched the lead to 10 points at the break. The lead stayed in that range for the bulk of the second half, with the Warriors never able to pull away for a blowout, but never in danger of having the lead slip away. The Rockets had a few late buckets to make the score look more respectable, but Golden State was always in control.
Unsurprisingly, Steph Curry led the charge, finishing the game with 32 points on just 14 field-goal attempts. Klay Thompson finished with 20 points while shooting 7-for-16 from the field, including 5-for-11 from three; it was his first time hitting the 20-point barrier this season.
Chris Paul was also exceptional, recording 15 points, 6 rebounds, 12 assists, 2 steals, and a game-high +12 plus/minus. As has been a trend this season, Šarić was productive on the bench in a game when CP3 excelled. Šarić played more minutes than starting center Kevon Looney, scoring 18 points.
Houston’s offense ran hot and cold, with six players reaching double figures scoring. Fred VanVleet finished with a double-double (10 points and 14 assists) but was an abysmal 1-for-8 from three.
Draymond Green’s continued absence, and a more prominent role for Šarić in the rotation did allow the Rockets young front court to capitalize on the Dubs weakened front court defense. Both Jabari Smith Jr. and Alperen Şengün had double-doubles, combining for 45 points, 23 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals.
The Warriors will now head back on the road, facing the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night. Opening tip off is scheduled for 7:00 PM Pacific.