Thompson fires late surge as Warriors ground Rockets
HOUSTON (The Sports Xchange) - Klay Thompson scored a game-high 38 points and keyed a decisive surge late in the fourth quarter as the Golden State Warriors rebounded from their worst loss on the season with a 114-110 victory over the Houston Rockets on Thursday night.Thompson drilled a pair of pull-up jumpers off penetration, the second capping an 8-0 run that gave the Warriors (30-2) a 113-102 lead at Toyota Center.Warriors forward Draymond Green posted a triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 16 assists while forward Andre Iguodala added 20 points off the bench on 6-for-7 shooting.Golden State lost at Dallas 114-91 on Wednesday night without four rotation players, including guard Stephen Curry, who was sidelined for a second consecutive game Thursday.Golden State finished with 35 assists on 43 field goals.Guard James Harden paced the Rockets (16-18) with 30 points, five rebounds and five assists while center Dwight Howard added 21 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Guard Patrick Beverley added 15 points.
Golden State turned a quick 10-0 run late in the third quarter, a spurt that featured 3s from Thompson and Iguodala, into a working margin. Houston cut the deficit to three points on a Harden step-back jumper with just under five minutes remaining for the Warriors hit their spurt.The Warriors' ball movement and execution was pristine in the first half, and Green orchestrated the show with extraordinary flair.
Golden State eviscerated the Rockets with an endless stream of weakside cuts to the basket in the first quarter, repeatedly exposing the Rockets' defense. Thompson provided the early thrust by scoring 17 points in the opening period, including nine in succession for an 18-17 lead.
The Warriors added four layups before the quarter came to a close, and the Rockets needed a 3-pointer from reserve guard Marcus Thornton to slice the deficit to 33-30 entering the second period.After recording 12 assists on 14 field goals in the first quarter, the Warriors went 8 for 8 in the second. Green closed the half with a dozen assists, matching the NBA mark for the most assists in a half this season. Green had six of the Warriors' eight assists in the second, and his 3 with 7:42 left in the half gave the Warriors a 47-43 lead. It required a second four-point play from Harden, this one with 37.4 seconds left, for the Rockets to pull even at 59-59. (Editing by Nick Mulvenney)