A late Curry Flurry gives Rockets nightmares yet again as Warriors win second road game
HOUSTON, Y'ALL KEEP HAVING THE SAME PROBLEM.
The Golden State Warriors are arguably the best road team in the NBA, going undefeated at 2-0 away from Chase Center after taking down those pesky Houston Rockets in Texas last night 106-95. Now I know what you’re thinking: small sample size alert.
But considering the Warriors only won 11 games out of 41 on the road, I’ll take two straight as the away team and give it a thumbs up!
Curry summons a scream after lighting up Dillon Brooks
This game was in the balance in the fourth quarter, with both teams trying to find a way to find some separation. Steph Curry’s shot hadn’t been falling for him through three quarters, having only 10 points on 2-of-8 shooting for the night. Despite valiant efforts from his teammates (particularly Klay Thompson who scored 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting), it was clear that the Warriors were still brewing that special sauce needed to put away a feisty young team looking to send their home fans happy with a upset win against their overlords from the Bay.
Rockets fans have long awaited to see their guys finally topple the Golden Empire. That’s what happens when you’re on the receiving end of four playoff eliminations in five years from the Splash Bros. This year they are in full rebuild mode with exciting younger players like Alperen Sengun, Jabari Smith Jr, and Jalen Green. They’ve also pulled in notable veterans with playoff experience like Fred Van Vleet and Dillon Brooks.
Brooks in particular has been an annoyance to the Dubs from his time with the Memphis
Frauds Grizzlies, where he foolishly injured Gary Payton II and became a target of Draymond Green and Klay Thompson’s ire.
So with Brooks now anointed to be Houston’s new tough guy, I wondered how he’d fare against a Warriors team hellbent on getting back to their dynastic ways.
Fast forward to the fourth quarter where with the Warriors clinging to an 88-87 lead with five minutes to go, Curry decided it was time to rain fire on anyone wearing red, drilling four straight three-pointers in a row to crash Houston’s hopes and torture Brooks’ spirit. Enjoy!
Ewwwwwwwwwwwww. Curry scampering around the court as his teammates wall off defenders with great screens or just get the hell out of the way has to be ingrained in the nightmares of Houston fans. What he did last night was pure domination when it was needed most, and that trolling celebration after the last bomb he hit on Brooks seemed like a combo between McCauley Caulkin of Home Alone and Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” painting.
Was even Curry himself horrified by what he had just done to Brooks and the Rockets on their home court? WAS THIS A CRIME OF PASSION THAT HAUNTS ALL WHO OBSERVED IT, INCLUDING THE PERPETRATOR?!
"Well, we know what he's about, and his reputation," Curry told NBC Sports Bay Area's Laura Britt, Chris Mullin and Festus Ezeli. "I don't get caught up in that -- I just play basketball, so you obviously let the game do the talking. Whenever you know a team's coming in hungry to beat you -- there's a lot of history with [Brooks], specifically -- but at the end of the day you just hoop.
"The results speak for themselves, and I like to have fun out here. Especially fourth quarter when it's winning time."
Curry finished the game with 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists, and a brand new highlight to add to his deep reel.
Strength in Numbers x Chris Paul
I hope Rockets fans enjoyed watching their former leader and new Warrior Chris Paul carving them up like a Thanksgiving turkey. A lot was made about CP3 coming off of the bench for the first time in his 19-year hall-of-fame career.
I mean, I’m pretty sure Dub Nation already universally agreed CP3’s ideal role with the Warriors would have to be in a reserve role considering the Steph-Klay-Wiggs-Dray-Loon lineup is championship tested and analytics beloved.
But it is another reminder of how illustrious Paul’s career has been so far that he has been entrenched as a starter for multiple franchises despite competing at a point guard, a position that is particularly unforgiving to aging players.
CP3 tallied 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists in 27 minutes, with his floor generalship on full display. He’s got a great ability to steer his dribble into areas of the floor that cause anxiety for defenses.
He eats up space with his handle, pulling defenders’ eyeballs and body positioning towards him as they know full well he can uncork a mid-range jumper or fancy finish around him. And in that half-second where they’re caught in between stopping his forays while shading towards their other particular defensive assignments, CP3 already has whipped an on target pass to a thirsty Warrior for a great look at a shot.
Paul hit six different players with assists, including Thompson twice on deep bombs. Paul was a team high +22 plus/minus in his time on the floor, and a big part of the reason the Warriors’ bench outscored the Rockets’ 41-21.
Gary Payton II had 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals in his 19 minutes. Talk about staying ready; this guy comes off the bench with terrorizing defense and nails 3 outta 4 triples against Houston.
It’s clear that the Warriors are leaning on this year’s batch of reserves to be a threat as opposed to merely a stopgap until Curry gets back on the floor. You know, like how it used to be with guys like Shaun Livingston, Leandro Barbosa, and Andre Iguodala.
Missed last night’s game? Don’t worry, the Dubs have a piping hot fresh game for you coming in a few hours! Today at 5PM PT on NBC Sports Bay Area/Bally Sports Southwest, we can see the Dubs keep their road swag going against the undefeated New Orleans Pelicans.
So far the Pels have knocked off the Grizzlies and New York Kicks, with future franchise savior Zion Williamson back from injury and looking sharp. He’s a physical monster, listed at 6-foot-6 with the body of an NFL linebacker and the agility of a gazelle.
This is the physical matchup the Warriors need to test their early season chops.