HOUSTON – Stephen Curry is well aware that Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has crafted his team specifically to try and beat the Golden State Warriors.
“As much as he talks about it, yeah it’s hard not to,” Curry said. “It’s pretty . . . clear.”
But on Thursday night with the Rockets missing the most important piece on their team in James Harden, Chris Paul and his supporting cast were not enough to overcome the defending champions.
Curry scored 29 points, Klay Thompson had 28 and the Warriors pulled away late in the fourth quarter for a 124-114 victory to hand Houston its sixth loss in eight games.
Draymond Green added a triple-double with 17 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists to become the franchise career leader in triple-doubles with 21. It was his second this season to move him past Tom Gola.
The Warriors extended their road winning streak to nine games and have won an NBA-best 16 road games this season.
The teams stayed close through most of the game, but Golden State had a seven-point lead with about 3½ minutes left. The Warriors scored the next five points, highlighted by a 3 from Curry, to make it 120-109 and send many of the home fans streaming for the exits.
The Rockets got 30 points from Eric Gordon, and Gerald Green came off the bench to score 29 and tie a career high with eight 3-pointers as they played their second game without Harden, who is out for at least two weeks with a hamstring strain.
“We’ve got to get better as a team,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We’re just not quite there defensively, communication, all the stuff we can control we’re not doing.”
Golden State was short-handed, too, playing without Kevin Durant, who missed the game with strained right calf. But Andre Iguodala returned after sitting out Wednesday night with back and hip strains and had 10 points and eight assists.
“Obviously they were missing their best player without James so we felt like there was an opportunity for us,” Thompson said.
Curry added nine rebounds and five assists and a steal in his third game back after missing 11 with a sprained right ankle.
Golden State led by 10 after a dunk by David West with about 7½ minutes remaining. The Rockets scored the next five points, with a 3-pointer from Gerald Green, to get to 108-103, but the Warriors scored the next five points to go up by 10 again.
The visitors led by three points after three quarters and opened the fourth with an 8-1 run to make it 101-91 with about 10 minutes left.
Chris Paul had 28 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for Houston.
Thunder 127, Clippers 117
In Los Angeles, Russell Westbrook had his 13th triple-double of the season, Paul George scored 31 points and Oklahoma City downed the Clippers to snap Los Angeles’ four-game winning streak.
Westbrook finished with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Carmelo Anthony added 22 points for the Thunder.
DeAndre Jordan led Los Angeles with a season-high 26 points and 17 rebounds. Lou Williams had 26 points and Blake Griffin scored 24.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5