The Houston Rockets were defeated 116-101 by the Golden State Warriors on Friday night as they successfully defended their home court.
As the Rockets stormed out to a 12-5 lead early on, things seemed bleak for the Warriors. Golden State has had several unimpressive performances this season, so a defeat to a bottom-dwelling team like the Rockets on the second part of a back-to-back was not out of the question.
Klay Thompson, fortunately for Dub Nation, made sure that wouldn’t occur. With his 7 points in the first round, Thompson assisted the Warriors in tying the game at 26. Nevertheless, Golden State went on an 18-5 run to open the second quarter and never looked back.
Up until the last few seconds of the fourth quarter, the Rockets kept the Warriors from putting the game away completely, but they were never able to close the gap below eight points. When they did, Patrick Baldwin Jr. promptly retaliated with a three, and early in the fourth, a barrage from Thompson put the game beyond doubt.
While Steph Curry’s absence significantly reduces the Warriors’ scoring potential, Klay continues to be one of the NBA’s hottest microwave scorers. Thompson was unstoppable against the Rockets’ poor defence, which allowed role players like Donte DiVincenzo and Patrick Baldwin Jr. to make three-pointers.
Klay ended the contest with 42 points on 12-for-19 field goal shooting. His successful field goals have all been three-pointers. He ended with a game-high +32 plus/minus and added 7 rebounds.
On Friday, DiVincenzo and Jordan Poole, who each had 15 points, momentarily grabbed control of the game. Poole also contributed 8 assists. A game-high 13 rebounds were grabbed by Kevon Looney. Baldwin scored 11 points to lead the Warriors’ bench scorers.
Even though the Rockets are a top-tier opponent, Baldwin giving the Warriors some quality rotation minutes is encouraging for the rookie big. It was clear how his ability to spread the field aided the other shooters, and the Warriors’ weak frontcourt depth leaves plenty of minutes to possibly throw his way.
The Warriors, who are now 30-30, will get a day off before playing home to the Timberwolves on Sunday. The first whistle will sound at 4:30 Pacific.