The Golden State Warriors powered past the Houston Rockets 124-114 in an NBA clash between two undermanned teams on Thursday.
With two of the NBA's biggest stars, Kevin Durant and James Harden, sidelined by injuries, the Warriors-Rockets showdown in Houston lost some of its lustre.
But the two teams certainly were not lacking in offensive firepower, as the Warriors beat the Rockets.
Even though Durant just joined the Warriors last season, he has already made such an imprint on the team it seems like another era when the pre-KD Warriors won an NBA championship (in 2015). With Durant sidelined by a calf strain Thursday, the old guard arose for the Warriors (31-8). Stephen Curry led the way with 29 points, Klay Thompson chipped in 28 and Draymond Green had 17.
The Warriors are now 21-5 with Durant sidelined since he joined the team last year.
"[Durant's absence] doesn't affect anything. They'll do what they do," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said afterward. "They're still the world champions without him."
The Rockets (27-10) came into the game hitting an NBA-high 15.8 three-pointers per game, and hit 17 against the Warriors. But it took them 50 attempts to do that (the Warriors were a much more efficient 13-of-30 behind the arc).
Guard Chris Paul, who is expected to shoulder the load with Harden out up to six weeks with a hamstring strain, scored 28 and dished out nine assists, but he had help. Eric Gordon scored 30 to pace the Rockets, while swingman Gerald Green, a 31-year-old veteran who had not played in the NBA this season until signing with the Rockets last week, continued his strong play in Harden's absence. Green scored 29 and knocked down eight-of-15 three-pointers.
Golden State Warriors 124-114 Houston Rockets
Oklahoma City Thunder 127-117 Los Angeles Clippers
TIMBERWOLVES AT CELTICS
Beating our rivals in the East ✅ pic.twitter.com/cZBP6Oae1k— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 4, 2018
The number one team in the Eastern Conference face the number four team in the West. Kyrie Irving and the Celtics have lived up to expectations, while the addition of guards Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague has supercharged the T-Wolves' offense.