Warriors down Rockets in clash of Western powers

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LOS ANGELES: Stephen Curry’s 29 points and a record-setting triple-double from Draymond Green propelled the Golden State Warriors to a 124-114 NBA victory over the Houston Rockets on Thursday (Friday in Manila).

In a clash of the two highest-scoring teams in the NBA, the reigning champion Warriors shrugged off the absence of forward Kevin Durant, with Andre Iguodala stepping into the starter’s role and contributing 10 points and seven assists.

Green’s 17 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists made him the franchise’s leader in triple-doubles with 21.

He passed Tom Gola, who played with the team from 1955 to 1962.

“That’s a hell of an accomplishment,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “Tom Gola is a Hall of Famer. It was an amazing night from Dray­mond—he did everything for us.”

Stephen Curry AFP PHOTO

Amazing, perhaps, but for Kerr, not unexpected.

“This is who he is,” Kerr said of Green. “He’s a guy who fills up the stat sheet and controls the game defensively and just does everything.”

Klay Thompson added 28 points for the Warriors, who trailed by a point at halftime.

The lead changed hands seven times in the third quarter before the Warriors fashioned an 8-0 scoring run to close the period. They never trailed in the fourth, pushing their lead to as many as 14 points.

The Warriors notched their second win in as many nights, and their ninth straight road victory after a 125-122 triumph over the Mavericks in Dallas on Wednesday.

They improved their league-leading record to 31-8.

Houston played their second straight game without NBA leading scorer James Harden, who is out for at least a fortnight with a hamstring injury.

In his absence, Eric Gordon led the Rockets with 30 points. Gerald Green came off the bench to score 29, matching his career high with eight three-pointers.

However, the Rockets fell to 27-10 — three games behind the Warriors atop the Western Conference as Golden State avenged a shock loss to Houston on the opening night of the season.

“It’s a long season, there’s a lot of ups and downs,” Curry said. “But when you have a chance to beat a great team, chase that number one seed, that’s huge. We want to have that home court advantage, and these games are meaningful.”

Thunder roll past Clippers
Russell Westbrook’s triple-double and 31 points from Paul George fueled the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 127-117 victory over the Clippers in Los Angeles.

Reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Westbrook scored 29 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and handed out 11 assists for the Thunder, who notched their second win in as many nights in Los Angeles after a 133-96 rout of the Lakers on Wednesday.

It was another satisfying night’s work for George, a Los Angeles native who connected on 12 of 16 shots from the floor.

His five three-pointers included one from the right wing that stretched the Thunder’s lead to 12 points with 2:07 remaining.

“I thought down the stretch we just got quality looks,” George said.

The Thunder have won eight of their last 10 with a free-flowing offense in which pre-season acquisitions George and Carmelo Anthony have clicked with Westbrook.

“We’re just comfortable,” George said. “Whoever has the ball, we give him that space, that chance, that opportunity to make plays, to be special. We don’t care who’s got it and who’s scoring, who’s shooting. We passed that stage—we’re out there having fun.”

Anthony added 22 points, connecting on nine of 12 shots from the floor.

DeAndre Jordan scored 26 points with 17 rebounds for the Clippers and Lou Williams scored 13 of his 26 points off the bench in the fourth quarter.

But the Thunder, trailing by three going into the final period, opened the fourth on a 12-0 scoring run to seize control.

Jordan went scoreless in the fourth and Blake Griffin’s 24 points included just five in the final frame as the Clippers saw their four-game winning streak end.

AFP





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