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|01-23-2015, 11:00 PM||#1|
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Curry gets angry, Warriors beat Rockets 126-113
Stephen Curry figured it would happen eventually.
With the Golden State Warriors routinely routing opponents on their home floor, frustration was bound to surface from the other side at some point. And when it finally did, he was ready for it.
The typically mild-mannered point guard got involved in a rare altercation before finishing with 22 points and 10 assists, and the Warriors held off the Houston Rockets 126-113 on Wednesday night for their franchise-record 17th straight home win.
Curry, who already had a technical foul, ran at Trevor Ariza after the Rockets forward bumped him on the way down court early in the third quarter. Curry had to be held back by teammate Draymond Green, and officials called a technical foul on Ariza following a video review.
"That's about as mad as I've seen him," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of his star guard.
Curry isn't sure whether Ariza brushed him on purpose or by accident. He just wasn't going to stand for what he thought was a "cheap shot."
"If that's how they want to try to get back in the game, it didn't work," Curry said. "We answered that physicality by just playing our brand of basketball."
The Warriors had already grabbed control by outscoring Houston 30-13 in the second quarter. They went ahead by 30 in the third quarter before the Rockets' reserves made the final margin closer.
Golden State swept the four-game season series against the Rockets for the first time since 1973-74. All four wins came by at least 10 points.
"They bullied us tonight," said Rockets guard James Harden, who had 33 points and six assists. "They smacked us four times."
This one was particularly sweet for the Warriors after microphones caught Harden telling teammates during a huddle before the teams played last week in Houston that Golden State "ain't even that good."
The Warriors (34-6) harassed Dwight Howard and Harden inside and out — with Andrew Bogut and Green playing the role of lead antagonists — and the irritation of another blowout loss to the NBA's best team finally set off the Rockets.
"I'm sure they were a little frustrated, because we're not that good," said Green, winking as he repeated the phrase to several questions in the locker room.
Howard had just seven points and 11 rebounds, spending most of the game in foul trouble. Houston (29-14) had four of the game's five technical fouls, including two against forward Josh Smith, who was ejected for arguing with an official.
But the sequence that will be remembered most came with the Warriors leading 72-49 early in the third quarter.
Curry, fed up with constant grabbing and pulling, got a technical foul while jostling for position with Patrick Beverley. Curry was called for an offensive foul on the next play before the incident with Ariza occurred.
Curry said he wasn't sure what he would've done had he confronted Ariza face-to-face. He was just happy with the way the Warriors responded, resuming their latest highlight-worthy performance filled with dazzling dunks, emphatic alley-oops and — of course — acrobatic shots from Curry.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 27 points, and Bogut grabbed 10 rebounds, scored nine points and tied a season high with five blocks — including consecutive swats against Howard in the first half. Green added 18 points.
Rockets: Houston lost by 11, 12 and 25 points to the Warriors previously this season. ... Corey Brewer scored 20 points, most of them with the outcome already decided.
Warriors: Their previous best home-winning streak was 16, last accomplished in 1959 — when the team still played in Philadelphia. They are 19-1 at Oracle Arena this season. ... David Lee scored nine points to reach 10,000 for his career.
HOWARD LIKES THE HAWKS
Asked if Golden State is the best team in the NBA right now, Howard pointed to East-leading Atlanta (35-8).
"They got the best record, right?" he said about the Hawks before someone corrected him. "They don't? I thought they were the best team. They play well, they move the ball, the defense and offense has been great this year."
Rockets: At Phoenix on Friday.
Warriors: Host Sacramento on Friday.