Sport

Wolves can't match Rockets offense in 116-98 loss

Wolves can't match Rockets offense in 116-98 loss

Chris Paul's Houston Rockets won two out of three against Kevin Durant's Golden State Warriors this season, but the defending champs still have a 3.5-game lead atop of the Western Conference.

Houston general manager Daryl Morey said in the past that he is "obsessed" with beating the Warriors, and so it's no surprise that his players were thrilled to win two out of the three games they've faced each other in the regular season. With some help from Nick Young (16 points, 4-of-7 from three), Golden State made 48.8 of their shots overall and was a blistering 47.2 percent from three. Paul added two free throws with 28 seconds left.

Golden State suffered its first road defeat since November 22 at Oklahoma City. The most perplexing part of the win, however, was that Houston wasn't at full strength. Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said.

"(The) fourth quarter was a conscious effort to not let them get easy baskets, easy threes and making sure we contested everything", Harden said. "Can't get away with it".

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green - have missed a total of 31 games this season, nearly as many as they missed all of last season (33). "And then we finally did, but we just didn't have the right amount of focus it takes to win a game like that". "It was pretty bad". They closed the first half with an 11-1 rally, grinding the Rockets offense to a halt while getting 3s from Curry and Thompson.

Paul checked back in to stop the bleeding with a 3-pointer.




Harden finished with 22 points and eight assists.

The Rockets got the victory despite missing Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green, who were both serving the second game of a two-game suspension for an altercation with the Clippers.

Outside of Harden and Paul, Clint Capela was tremendous with 18 points. The Warriors ended the third quarter trailing by one, but back-to-back three-point shots from Draymond Green, who had 21 points and six assists in the game, gave Golden State its first leads since the first quarter.

That's one of the ramifications coming out of the Warriors' 116-108 loss to the Rockets on Saturday, ending their 14-game road winning streak that dated back to November.

Durant on the improvement of the Rockets this season: "I think the difference between them this year and last year - obviously everybody is going to say CP (Paul) - but they're just playing harder. They're playing harder on the defensive side of the ball".

"We were trying to hit home runs all night, and we can't do that against these guys", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.


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