ORACLE ARENA — This Warriors team seems to break a record or hit a new milestone just about every day. Wednesday was no different.
With a 126-113 victory over the Rockets, the Warriors swept the season series against Houston for the first time in more than 40 years and set a new franchise record for most consecutive home-wins in a season with 17.
It wasn’t a perfect game, with spurts of sloppy basketball poking out between highlight plays, but it was possibly the most physical win of the season thus far and the most emotional.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 27 points followed by Stephen Curry with 22. Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes also finished in double-figures, but it was the Golden State defense that was the star of yet another blowout victory for the Warriors.
Rockets coach Kevin McHale said the Warriors played harder on each side of the ball, with their effort creating a matchup nightmare:
“They play hard. They play fast. They move … We had opportunities to make a lot plays, we just didn’t. Give them credit.”
The Rockets, looking for revenge and to spoil the season sweep by the Warriors, were already facing a 23-point deficit coming out of halftime with emotions lingering since the teams’ last meeting on Saturday.
Shoves exchanged between Dwight Howard and Andrew Bogut, Green with his usual showboating, and technical fouls handed out to both Curry and Trevor Ariza for a mid-court exchange all added to a pot that boiled over at the three-minute mark in the third quarter.
Houston called a timeout after Thompson threw a lob to Andre Iguodala who threw it down to extend the Warriors lead to 25 points. Josh Smith approached the officials and received consecutive technical fouls leading to an ejection.
The Rockets were able to cut the Warriors lead to nine points in the final frame, with Corey Brewer and Jason Terry becoming the only other Rockets to score double-digits behind James Harden (33 points), but Golden State regrouped and solidified the win.
Green said that with a large lead it can sometimes be difficult to stay focused, and that’s what happened when the Rockets made their late run:
“It’s tough, especially when they already put their subs in…That’s the first time that has happened and it won’t become the norm. Our guys are usually good about closing games out.”
Although the closing minutes were ugly from the Warriors side, a three from Thompson and seven consecutive points from Speights, including a three in the final moments, allowed the Warriors to walk away on the winning side.
The Warriors, now 34-6, continue their five-game home stand Friday against the 16-26 Sacramento Kings.
David Lee hit a milestone of his own Wednesday, logging his 10,000th career point and received a standing ovation from the crowd as the statistic displayed on the jumbo screen. Lee told SFBay, it was a special moment he didn’t even know about until his mom called him Tuesday:
“My mom called yesterday and asked if she could come out for the milestone and I had no idea what she was talking about. So she flew out today. It was really exciting and something I never thought that I would accomplish coming into the league as a 30th pick…more importantly right now, this has been the most fun year of my career.”
Golden State’s starting lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut improved to 23-1 this season, winning 18 consecutive games. … Golden State earned its league-leading 26th double-digit victory, and its NBA-record tenth-straight home win by at least 13 points. … Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson both scored 20 points in the same game for the 57th time in their careers. … Draymond Green scored 18 points, hitting three three-pointers to set a new single-season career-high with 58 threes this season. … Marreese Speights hit his second three-pointer of the season (16th career) and finish with nine points off the bench.