Basketball

Warriors shoot down Rockets with defence

Golden State are sixth team in NBA history to record three consecutive 60-win seasons

HOUSTON ROCKETS GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
106 113

Warriors guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson provided their usual perimeter fireworks, but what proved critical for Golden State yesterday morning (Singapore time) was the defensive might that has undergirded their current winning streak.

Curry and Thompson combined for 57 points while forward Draymond Green overcame an ankle injury to provide a little of everything in the Golden State Warriors' 113-106 victory over the stubborn Houston Rockets at Toyota Center.

Curry drilled a three-pointer with 1:46 left to rebuild a double-digit lead for the Warriors (60-14), who stretched their winning streak to eight games and became the sixth team in NBA history to record three consecutive 60-win seasons.

Green, who turned his left ankle early in the third quarter, finished with 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.

He challenged a lay-up attempt by Rockets guard James Harden and followed a critical offensive rebound with a late lay-up to help fend off the Rockets, who got no closer than five points.

Curry scored a game-high 32 points and Thompson added 25, but the Warriors won with defence, limiting Houston (51-22) to 38.8 per cent shooting.

"It's attention to detail, knowing where their shooters are, especially in transition," Curry said.

"We do a great job of trying to stay on a string so when two guys commit to the ball and there's a pass out to the wing, the next guy is on alert ready to rotate, kind of a chain reaction.

"Try to make them uncomfortable and contest as many (three-pointers) as you can."

Harden recorded his 20th triple-double of the season, producing 24 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists. But he shot just 5 of 20 - 1 of 9 on three-pointers.

"I don't know what it was, honestly," Harden said of the slow start.

"We weren't ready to go, and they made us pay for it. Credit to them for having a really good start; the rest of the quarters, we did a pretty good job."

After shooting 20 for 39 on three-pointers in a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder last Sunday, the Rockets finished 5 of 31 - a season-low total on three-pointers.

They supplemented their offence by making 35 of 39 free-throws. Harden was 13 of 13.

"What kept them in the game obviously was the fouls," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

"We fouled their three-point shooters and made numerous silly fouls that really hurt us and kept them in the game.

"But, all in all, a great defensive effort. We've just got to keep the fouls down." 
- REUTERS

OTHER RESULTS

  • LA Lakers 108 Washington 119, Portland 122 Denver 113, Brooklyn 101 Philadelphia 106, Atlanta 95 Phoenix 91, Detroit 96 Miami 97, Charlotte 108 Milwaukee 118, Indiana 114 Minnesota 115.