The Rockets got some stellar play again from Gerald Green, as he went for 29 points and drained 8 triples. He also hit a four-point play with three minutes to go in the third quarter to put the Rockets up 83-79, but the good guys simply ran out of gas after that.
They went on a five-minute field goal drought in the final frame, and Golden State finished the night shooting 55 percent from the field, as the Dubs closed out the not-quite-good-enough Rockets down the stretch.
Both teams were missing players, as the Warriors were down Kevin Durant, and the Rockets were without James Harden, Luc Mbah a Moute and Nene. This is an entirely different game on both sides with those four players involved, so I wouldn’t read too much into tonight’s defeat other than the Rockets showed up to play and fought hard, even though they couldn’t quite get over the hump.
In addition to another big night from Green, the Rockets were led by Chris Paul. He finished the game with 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists, and he looked as nimble and physically healthy as at any point this season. They also got 30 points, 7 assists, and 3 steals from Eric Gordon, as the trio of Houston guards had the Rockets fans thinking upset through three quarters.
In addition, they got a 15-point, 10 -rebound double-double from Clint Capela, but that was the end of the major contributors for the Rockets.
Houston got just 6 points and 6 rebounds from Ryan Anderson, who continued to struggle with his shot, hitting just 1-4 from deep, and P.J. Tucker, who is also still struggling mightily, put up another stinker. Tucker’s been slumping for a while now, and hopefully this was rock bottom for him, as he put up 0 points and 1 rebound in 22 minutes of action. Tucker has lost his shot and seems to have lost his confidence with it.
Trevor Ariza also had just 3 points on 1-8 shooting to go along with three rebounds, and the struggles of most of the Houston role players was a major catalyst in their defeat. A total team effort was required to beat the Warriors shorthanded, and the Rockets only got top performances from a few guys. Anderson and Tucker, in particular, will really need to snap out of their funk if the Rockets are to hold it down throughout their injuries.
The Warriors were led by Stephen Curry and his 29 points, 5 rebounds, and 9 assists. They also got 28 points and 6 threes from Klay Thompson and a 17-point, 14-rebound, 10-assist double-double from Draymond Green.
The Rockets now fall to 27-10 and are three games behind the Dubs in the Western Conference standings. They’re also just two games ahead of the third-place Spurs. Their season series with Golden State is now tied at one game apiece.
Houston gets Friday night off before returning to the court Saturday in Detroit for another tough contest against the Pistons.