NBA: Warriors win despite Curry's absence

Shaun Livingston #34 of the Golden State Warriors reaches in to knock the ball away from James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets.
Shaun Livingston #34 of the Golden State Warriors reaches in to knock the ball away from James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets.PHOTO: AFP

(AFP) - Klay Thompson scored 38 points and the Golden State Warriors showed they can win without star Stephen Curry on Thursday with a 114-110 victory over the Rockets in Houston.

Curry missed his second-straight game with a lower left-leg bruise.

But unlike on Wednesday, when the Dallas Mavericks handed the reigning NBA champion Warriors just their second defeat of the season, Thompson was able to get going offensively despite the absence of his fellow "Splash Brother."

Warriors forward Draymond Green also shone, posting his fifth triple-double of the season with 10 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 16 assists, while forward Andre Iguodala connected on six of seven attempts from the floor to contribute 20 points off the bench.

Golden State finished with 35 assists on 43 field goals.

James Harden led the rockets with 30 points, five rebounds and five assists, and Dwight Howard added 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Up by two points at half-time, the Warriors gave themselves some room with a 10-0 spurt late in the third quarter that included three-pointers from Thompson and Iguodala.

The Rockets trimmed the deficit to three points on a Harden jump-shot with less than five to play, but the Warriors scored eight straight points to rebuild the lead.

Having rounded out 2015 with their 30th win of the season, the Warriors could open 2016 by welcoming head coach Steve Kerr back to the bench after complications from back surgery saw him sidelined.

Kerr could be back at the helm this weekend, taking the reins from interim coach Luke Walton who has presided over the Warriors' sensational start to the season.

A lighthearted Walton said he hadn't thought about whether Thursday's game was his last in charge.

"If it is, it was a lot of fun," he said.

"I'll be thrilled to have Stevie back coaching us again."