Warriors deny Rockets from long range to win

HOUSTON • Golden State Warriors guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson provided their usual perimeter fireworks, but what proved critical for the National Basketball Association (NBA) side on Tuesday was their defensive might.

The duo combined for 57 points while forward Draymond Green overcame an ankle injury to provide a little of everything in the Warriors' 113-106 victory over the stubborn Houston Rockets at the Toyota Centre.

Curry drilled a three-pointer with 1:46 left to rebuild a double-digit lead for the Warriors (60-14), who stretched their winning streak to eight games and became the sixth team in NBA history to record three consecutive 60-win seasons.

Green, who turned his left ankle early in the third quarter, finished with 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.

He challenged a layup attempt by Rockets guard James Harden and followed a critical offensive rebound with a late layup to help fend off the Rockets, who got no closer than five points.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry goes to the basket against Houston Rockets guard James Harden as Trevor Ariza looks on. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Curry scored a game-high 32 points and Thompson added 25, but the Warriors won with defence, limiting Houston (51-22) to 38.8 per cent shooting.

"It's attention to detail, knowing where their shooters are, especially in transition," Curry said.

"We do a great job of trying to stay on a string so when two guys commit to the ball and there's a pass out to the wing, the next guy is on alert ready to rotate, kind of a chain reaction. Try to make them uncomfortable and contest as many (three-pointers) as you can."

Harden recorded his 20th triple-double of the season, producing 24 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists. But he shot just five of 20 - one of nine on three-pointers.

After shooting 20 for 39 on threes in a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday, the Rockets finished five of 31 - a season-low total on threes.

"They're the No. 1 team for the lowest three-point percentage (allowed) so they come at you, they're long and athletic, and they really run you off," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We still had a lot of looks wide open that we didn't make."



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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2017, with the headline 'Warriors deny Rockets from long range to win'. Print Edition | Subscribe