Golden State (38-30) has had its troubles with Houston (36-31), but they put those troubles to rest on Saint Patty’s Day Sunday, exploding for a 108-78 win.
Steph Curry bounced back from a dismal performance against the Chicago Bulls and returned to full form, finishing with 29 points, 11 assists, and five rebounds. He also continued his torrid 3-point shooting, connecting on five from beyond the arc.
Klay Thompson bounced back as well, scoring 26 points and knocking down six 3-pointers.
The Warriors defense was back at the level of intensity that they showed throughout the first half of the season. They were able to contain Houston’s dangerous floor generals James Harden and Jeremy Lin, and essentially took everyone else out of the game all together.
Harden and Lin combined for 42 points on 15-of-32 shooting and the rest of the team shot an abysmal 13-54. As a team, Houston shot 9-of-35 from 3-point range, and Harden and Lin hit six of them. The Warriors were also able to limit Houston’s free-throw attempts to just 16, well below their season average of 25.4.
After losing the first three games of the four game season series in disappointing fashion, Mark Jackson was finally able to find the appropriate defensive game plan for his Warriors team. They exploited every weakness that Houston has and forced them to play the Warriors game.
Warriors center Andrew Bogut had one of his best games of the season on both ends of the floor. He scored 12 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and had three blocks. He was much more active in the offense than usual, chipping in with some of the scoring that we usually would see from David Lee.
Lee only scored 10 points, but still reached his league leading 43rd double-double by collecting 10 rebounds along with four assists.
It was an all-around great game on both ends of the floor for Golden State en route to one of their biggest wins of the season, considering the circumstances. They will need to carry their defensive prowess over to Monday night for a quick back-to-back road visit with the New Orleans Hornets. Golden State will then finish their three-game mini road trip against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
You can follow Rich Peters on twitter @Tricky_Roma.