Steph Curry sat for this game so Klay Thompson was doing the shooting in the first quarter. At one point he scored nine straight in the quarter.
Early fouls by Golden State kept Houston in the game in the first quarter at home. Rockets led through the first seven minutes of the game with a couple of 3's from Harden and a strong effort defensively. Playing on New Years Eve against the hottest team in the league had the Rockets up for a challenge and they had a good first half of the quarter.
A couple of sick blocks by Dwight Howard in the first set the tone for the early Rockets effort on defense.
Then Klay started hitting, Terence Jones missed a couple of shots, the second team came in, the defense flagged a bit and the calls started going against the Rockets. The Warriors went on a 12 to 2 run toward the end of the first quarter until Brewer hit his first 3 pointer in seven games. T Jones ends up a -10 in the first quarter but the Rockets are only down 3 after one quarter (remember Curry isn't playing).
The second team gave up the first five points of the second quarter to go down seven quick and then score seven straight of their own to tie it up early in the second quarter at 39 each. The Warriors shooting 67% through the first 15 minutes of the game. Rockets making it a game, down 2 with six minutes left in the first half.
Again the Rockets are playing at the level of their opponents. This year they seem to play better against the best teams and they are losing many games against teams with losing records.
Draymond Green has 11 assists with five minutes left in the second quarter. Warriors stretch it to a nine point lead in the third and are coasting, even with Curry on the bench. Rockets have a good run at the end of the quarter with a couple of big bombs by Harden, but give up an easy dunk as the half time expires and go down at the half by 2. Harden has 18 and Thompson has 17 at the half respectively.
Thornton gets 12 minutes in the first half and scores 8 points. Jason Terry gets zero minutes.
Thompson has 3 fouls and Bogut has 4 early in the third quarter. Tied up at 68 with nine minutes to go in the third. Thompson gets his 4th foul with 7 minutes left in the third and with Curry sitting that could make a difference later in the game. Close game as it's tied with 5 minutes left in the third. Draymond has 14 assists in the third. Rockets looking good and competing against the Warriors through the third.
Let's see who can dominate the clutch minutes. It's the Warriors with a 10 to 0 run at the end of the third quarter to take an 8 point lead.
The Rockets go into the last quarter down eight. I'm sitting here thinking, "it'll be tough to come back from this." In the fourth, the Warriors have 30 assists and the Rockets have 15.
Rockets cut it to four and then Thompson rips a three. Harden answers with a three and the Rockets stay within 4 with 5:45 left. Thompson has 4 fouls and Bogut has 5 with half the quarter to play. Warriors take a nine point lead with 2:23 left.
Draymond kills it down the clutch with a triple double. Harden does his part with 30 points, but Thompson does him better with 38. Next up is the Spurs. It doesn't get any easier.