Playing their second game in as many nights, again without Andrew Bogut, the Warriors earned a hard-fought victory on Thursday night, defeating the Rockets 102-99. David Lee had a great game, notching another double-double with 28 points and 14 rebounds. Stephen Curry was tremendous, particularly in the late going, with 25 points and six assists and several clutch baskets. Andre Iguodala filled the stat sheet with 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Klay Thompson and Jordan Crawford each added 12 points apiece. The win pushes the Warriors record to 33-22. They’ll look to build on the momentum when they take on the visiting Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.
On tonight's game:
“There were so many big plays that we made both offensively and defensively. Steph’s (Curry) drive at the end of regulation after (James) Harden made the huge play and took the life out of the building. We executed and got exactly what we wanted. We were patient, we executed and it was just a big time win for us.”
On Jermaine O'Neal:
“You talk about big time plays-Jermaine’s (O’Neal) block on Chandler Parsons. That is a guy a million miles on his body and on the back-9 of his career, but he was a true professional. I didn’t want to play him this many minutes but he said ‘I’m going to give you what I have Coach’. We are fortunate to have him, the way he conducts himself and the way he takes pride. He deserved this night, really deserved it. A great win. I thought he did an outstanding job on Dwight Howard making him work and keeping a body on him.”
On the juxtaposition of feeding Curry vs. getting other players involved:
“You just read it. As a point guard in this league those were decisions I had to make my whole life-when to keep a guy involved and when to stay away from a guy. For me those were decisions that were the easy ones. Steph (Curry) has been great with the basketball and also making plays with other players coming off screens. I thought he hit some big shots playing off the basketball and some where he had the ball in his hands.”
On their defense tonight:
“We are a defensive minded team. It’s great to see that we can win ballgames when we are not at our best offensively, when we miss shots and things aren’t going our way. When you take the commitment to defend night in and night out, even against a team that creates a lot of challenges, you give yourself a chance. A chance to win. This was all about our defense. To hold that team to under 40%-just proud of my guys. This was off of a back-to-back. Just a big win.”
On Stephen Curry getting to the rim late in the game:
“He has that and he’s getting better and better. He came into this league as a knockdown shooter and he’ll leave this league as a knockdown shooter. He has added the ability to make plays, put the ball on the floor, and he’s mixing drives and runners into his repertoire. Truth be told the last play of regulation I set it up for him to shoot a three and left it in his hands. It shows you how far he’s come as a basketball player that he didn’t settle. He made a big play for us.”
On his game-tying bucket at the end of regulation:
“We designed a play to get a three off because we tried to read how they were playing our off-ball screens and tried to get Dwight into help-mode basically. Once I caught it and saw Chandler kind of trailing me from behind and the lane was open, at that point it was about getting to the lane as quick as possible to try to get it on the rim. Dwight was there to protect; thankfully I was able to get a little bit of touch on it and spin it in. We got a stop to make that play worth it and it went into overtime.”
On O'Neal's block on Parsons:
“Huge, huge effort. Dwight’s an animal down there, a force, but JO (O’Neal) is as well. JO was up for the challenge. He made it be known before the game that he was ready for it. The only thing you can do is try to make him work all night and try to, for him, make Dwight go through his chest, and that’s hard to do. So he was battling, forcing him into tough hook jump shots and we were rebounding the basketball. And obviously that huge block at the end to come off Dwight’s body and make a play was huge to see that youth come out of him.”
On his defense against Howard:
“Obviously Dwight is a tough cover. You try to do your best to keep your body on him, use your length against him. Tonight I was able to bother his shot, get him off the box, make him make some tough moves.”
On his late-game block on Chandler Parsons:
“He (Parsons) made a great play going baseline and when you’re a big you kind of look at it like being a free safety; you see plays develop. A couple plays I got called for blocking; I think one was a goaltend and two blocking fouls, trying to take a charge, I was a second late. I wanted to make sure I go to the rim in time to save the dunk.”
On playing the Rockets and this being a potential playoff matchup:
“That’s a good question. That’s something I hadn’t thought about. Two teams that are looking like they’re going to make the playoffs and it’s a possibility. These guys have had our number a little bit and I thought we really competed well as a team. We didn’t shoot the ball overly well tonight so it’s good to get another win when we didn’t play particularly great offensively. We were able to get stops down the stretch and I’m very proud of our team to win this one.”
On Jermaine O'Neal's defensive effort:
“Huge play for him. The block was important but more than that, his defense throughout the entire game on Dwight Howard was incredible. He challenged him for every single play that he made. To take Dwight more or less out of the game made them a little more one dimensional, shooting threes and going to [James] Harden. I’m proud of Jermaine and he’s been ready all season, I’m just glad that he’s healthy enough to give us some minutes.”
BACK TO BACK
Coming off a nice win in Sacramento, the Warriors play their first home game after the All-Star Break on Thursday when they host the Rockets on the back end of a back-to-back. This will be this season’s third and final matchup between the two teams, and Golden State will be going for its first win in the season series. The Western Conference showdown falls on Social Media Night at Oracle Arena, and fans attending the game will be able to take advantage of a special check-in deal, take part in an Instagram scavenger hunt and much more. GET TICKETS
LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors took care of business on Wednesday night in Sacramento, picking up a 101-92 win in the first game after the All-Star Break. After letting a 15-point lead slip away, the Warriors stepped it up in the fourth quarter and held the Kings to 26.7 percent shooting in the final period. David Lee led the Dubs with 23 points and 11 rebounds and Klay Thompson added 18 points and five assists. The Warriors had 26 assists on 39 made baskets while issuing just seven turnovers. NBA All-Star Stephen Curry had 13 points and eight assists in the win and Draymond Green came through with 12 points and eight boards off the bench. GAME RECAP
THE NEW GUY
With the NBA trade deadline looming, the Warriors made a deal on Wednesday night to acquire veteran point guard Steve Blake from the Los Angeles Lakers. Blake has been the primary starting point guard for the Lakers this season, averaging 9.5 points to go along with career highs of 7.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.26 steals in 33.0 minutes. He suffered a torn ligament in his right elbow that caused him to miss 26 games this season, but he returned to action earlier this month and posted his second career-triple double in his second game back. With Blake, the Warriors add another strong perimeter shooter (.410 on 3-pointers over last two seasons) who will give the team some more depth at either guard spot. An 11-year veteran, Blake brings with him plenty of experience that will surely benefit his new teammates.
Earlier this week, Stephen Curry and James Harden were teammates on the Western Conference All-Star Team. They’ll be wearing different jerseys on Thursday, however, and each of their respective teams will look to their star guard to lead them to win their second game in as many days. Each player is productive in his own way, but the value they have to their team is eerily similar. Curry leads the Warriors in scoring and assists, as does Harden for Houston, and whoever can lead their team more effectively on Thursday will likely impact the game’s result.
HOUSTON SCOUTING REPORT
Like the Warriors, the Rockets will be playing on the back end of a back-to-back on Thursday. Houston won big against the Lakers on Wednesday to extend their winning streak to eight games, and they certainly have the look of a contender in the Western Conference. Harden and Dwight Howard were All-Stars this season, and Chandler Parsons complements them quite well. The Rockets are one of the top offensive teams in the league, but they are prone to turning the ball over. If the Warriors can take advantage of Houston’s miscues and limit their 3-point effectiveness – the Rockets lead the NBA with 26.0 three-point attempts per game – they should have a good chance at salvaging a win in the season series.
GSW: Andrew Bogut (left shoulder inflammation) is doubtful. Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery) and Nemanja Nedovic (left hamstring strain/right foot inflammation) are out.
HOU: Ronnie Brewer (sprained right ankle) is out. Greg Smith (sore right knee) is day-to-day.
HOU: Ronnie Brewer (sprained right ankle) is out. Greg Smith (sore right knee) is day-to-day.