Believe me when I tell you that this game could have went either way. Although the Houston Rockets lost to the Golden State Warriors 121-108 tonight, it felt like this game was only a couple of turnovers away from swinging the other way. Unfortunately for the Rockets, they kept getting in their own way.
What stood out most to me in this one was the absurd amount of dumb and lazy passes thrown from each side. It’s quite possible that the Warriors could have won this by 30+ had they not exhibited the passing intellect of Jekyll and Hyde.
At certain points they demonstrated their championship pedigree with pinpoint passes leading to simple buckets. They also would forecast passing lanes and lob it into Rockets defenders the next time down the court. Just utter madness.
As for the Rockets’ passing, well you know how that goes. 17 turnovers in comparison to only 14 assists is just another symptom of a bad team. However, they could have won this game had they been more crisp with the ball.
Tonight was also just a night where shots weren’t falling for Houston, something that also isn’t unfamiliar. While all the starters got into double-figures, the overall shooting performance was subpar. 42% from the field and only 28% from three is not going to keep you in a game versus the best shooters of all-time.
The inevitable duo of Steph Curry (30-7-5) and Klay Thompson (29-7-1) combined to match the Rockets’ ten makes from downtown. Flashbacks reminiscent of the past decade were felt throughout the Toyota Center.
Jalen Green (20-3-3) and Kevin Porter Jr. (17-5-5) couldn’t quite match the output from the opposing backcourt as you can see. The broadcast mentioned how our duo had studied the Splash Brothers this offseason, hoping to replicate their chemistry. I would settle for just a smidgeon of that.
What I did like seeing tonight was Tari doing Tari things. 21-12-4 on the night with 4 steals is terrific! Knowing that he can produce, whether coming off the bench, or starting in place of the ill Alperen Şengün is a great feeling.
I also enjoyed Jabari Smith Jr.’s double-double efforts this evening. His 17 points and 11 rebounds didn’t go unnoticed out there, and he even had a clean block on a two-handed dunk attempt by Klay. As far as what happened that one time he was guarding Jordan Poole, I plead the fifth...
My main takeaway from this game is that one of these teams is still good enough to overcome numerous mistakes due to their commitment to moving the ball (and innate shooting ability). The other team is still learning that, but hopefully they too can grow to tame the turnover beast.