HOUSTON (Texas) • Having already delivered convincing statements earlier this week by drubbing the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Golden State Warriors were quick to send the message early on Friday night that exacting revenge for a previous loss was a pressing priority.
While All-Star Game starters Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry split responsibility orchestrating the offence, the Warriors' collectively dominated defensively in a 125-108 National Basketball Association (NBA) victory over the Houston Rockets at Toyota Centre.
The Warriors stretched their winning streak to six games by overwhelming the Rockets (33-13) on both ends of the court.
Golden State also improved to an NBA-best 37-6 for the season and 17-3 on the road.
Durant finished with 32 points and seven assists while Curry chipped in with 24 points and seven assists. Golden State surged ahead in the first quarter and never looked back in a rematch of a Dec 1 showdown the Rockets won in double overtime at the Oracle Arena.
"Three good teams in a row, we definitely wanted to come out and make a nice statement," said Durant, who also had two steals and two blocks. "I think we did that. But we always can get better."
Three-point shooting of Houston Rockets against the Golden State Warriors, making just seven of 35 attempts.
Rockets guard James Harden produced 17 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists but was zero for five on three-pointers.
"They obviously played better than we did and we didn't shoot the ball well at all," Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Against a team like this, you got to keep scoring."
As part of their defensive might, the Warriors recorded seven blocks and eight steals. They limited the Rockets to 44.8 per cent shooting and forced 15 turnovers.
"We've got to do a better job of our spacing," Harden said. "I think that when they switch, we've got to space the floor even more and be able to get to the basket so that we will have kick-out opportunities. That's what happened in the first game at Golden State."
The Warriors first flashed their offensive execution with a 10-0 run to lead in the first quarter.
The Rockets managed just six points in the second quarter prior to a Patrick Beverley three-pointer with 6min 6sec left in the half.
Golden State then siphoned the life out of the Rockets in the third quarter. While Houston shot zero for 10 on three-pointers, the Warriors opened the period with three lay-ups, a Durant dunk, a wide-open trey from Draymond Green (15 points, eight boards, seven assists, three blocks), a fourth lay-up and another Durant dunk.
When Curry added back-to-back three-pointers, the Warriors led 87-67 and coasted to victory.
"We knew coming out of half-time we had to get off to a good start," Green said. "It was important that we got off to a great start in that half. It was important for both quarters and I think we did a good job of it."
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
CLEVELAND V SAN ANTONIO
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