LOS ANGELES: The Golden State Warriors took their revenge against the Houston Rockets on Friday (Saturday in Manila), overwhelming on both ends of the court with a 125-108 victory at the Toyota Center arena.
Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant joined forces to power the offence while the rest of the crew made the defensive stops as the Warriors stretched their NBA winning streak to six games.
The Warriors improved to an NBA-best 37-6 on the season and 17-3 on the road.
“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.”
Durant finished with 32 points and seven assists while Curry chipped in 24 points and seven assists as Golden State surged ahead in the first quarter and never looked back. The game was a rematch of a December 1 clash won by the Rockets in double overtime at Oracle Arena.
Rockets guard James Harden finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists. But Harden was zero-for-five from beyond the arc.
The Warriors are not only punishing teams on offence but Friday they broke the Rockets down on defence by blocking seven shots and recording eight steals.
“They obviously played better than we did and we didn’t shoot the ball well at all,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “And against a team like this, you have got to keep scoring.”
The Warriors started quickly with a 10-0 run to the lead in the first quarter.
Golden State took a 14-point lead midway through the second quarter before Harden returned to action and keyed another rally.
But Curry managed to beat the buzzer with a three pointer that delivered the Warriors a 62-57 halftime lead.
Golden State zapped the energy out of the Rockets in the third, opening the quarter with three layups.
When Curry added back-to-back three-pointers, the Warriors led 87-67 and coasted to victory.
Elsewhere, the Charlotte Hornets righted the ship Friday, putting a five-game losing streak behind them with a 113-78 rout of the Toronto Raptors.
The Hornets outscored the Raptors 58-30 in the second half, leading by as many as 37 points despite resting most of their starters throughout the fourth quarter. It was their most-lopsided win of the season.
In a zone
Kemba Walker led the way with 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field, including six of nine from three-point range. He didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter, with the Hornets facing back-to-back contests with Brooklyn coming to town on Saturday.
“I got into one of them zones,” said Walker. “I mean, it just feels like you can make any shot. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain.
“When you are in that zone, you just kind of black out. You just try to stay aggressive and take the shots that you’ve been practicing, that you practice each and every day. Tonight was a good night for me.”
In Dallas, Rudy Gobert racked up career highs with 27 points and 25 rebounds, and the Utah Jazz extended their winning streak to a season-high five by easing past the Dallas Mavericks 112-107 in overtime.
The Northwest Division-leading Jazz had won four in a row three previous times this season but had failed to get to five until beating Dallas for the third time in three tries.
In Orlando, Florida, Elfrid Payton scored 20 points and added six assists in leading the Orlando Magic to a 112-96 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at the Amway Center.