Posted on March 14, 2019, by Travis Pulver

The Houston Rockets had a chance to do something that has been unheard of in recent years Wednesday night—complete a regular season sweep of the Golden State Warriors.  With Kevin Durant sitting out with a sore ankle and the game being played at home, the odds were certainly in their favor.

But the Warriors are not concerned about the odds. Yes, they were down one superstar with Durant on the bench, but they still had three other stars taking the court. Those other three—they aren’t too shabby.

Via @Shaya_Weinberge

With how the Rockets had been playing lately, the Warriors needed everyone to have good nights—and they did. Klay Thompson led the way with 30 points after going 5-10 from three-point range. DeMarcus Cousins had a season-high 27 followed by Steph Curry with 24 points.

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The Warriors were in control for the vast majority of the game, but the Rockets made it close in the end. However, the Warriors ended up winning by two, 106-104.

Golden State got off to a strong start and led by ten after the first quarter, 33-23. The Warriors led by as much as 12 points during the second, but a solid effort by the Rockets down the stretch helped narrow the gap to two points at the half, 54-52.

After Houston took a brief lead early in the third quarter, the Warriors took back control of the game and pushed their lead back out to seven heading into the fourth quarter.

Golden State led by double digits for most of the fourth and had a 13-point advantage with about five and a half minutes to go. But a 16-4 run by the Rockets in the final minutes got them within one, 104-103, with 10.8 seconds to play.

Steph Curry pushed the lead back out to three with a pair of free throws with 8 seconds left.  James Harden made his first free throw on the next possession, but Andre Iguodala pulled down the rebound after he missed the second to close the game out.

After the game, Harden wasn’t too concerned about the loss while taking to the media (ESPN):

“It’s OK. Yeah. Nah, it’s all right, man. We lost. We know we did. Good thing about it is we play again on Friday. It’s one loss.”

But Houston head coach Mike D’Antoni was a little more concerned and told reporters he hopes the team learns from the loss:

“Sometimes you don’t learn a lot when you win. … If this didn’t get their attention, then we’re in big trouble. It’ll get their attention. And we just gotta figure some things out and do a better job.”

Harden led the way for the Rockets with 29 points. He struggled to hit his shots throughout the night making just 10-23 and only two of 12 from behind the arc. Chris Paul had a good night with 24 followed by Eric Gordon with 17. Clint Capela chipped in a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Golden State will look to keep winning when they head to Oklahoma City Saturday night to take on the Thunder. The Rockets will have Thursday night off but take on the Phoenix Suns at home Friday night.

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