March 19, 2019

Warriors, minus Durant, end Rockets' 9-game streak, 106-104

16 March 2019, 10:11 | Anna Jefferson

Odds to Win 2019 NBA Title: Suns 115-110 Warriors

The underdog WArriors square off against the chalk Rockets meet in Houston on Wednesday night

Watch the game LIVE on TSN1 at 9:30pm et/6:30pm pt.

Steve Kerr has said for the past few weeks that it's time for Golden State to up its defensive intensity as they prepare for the postseason, and they certainly did it on Wednesday. As potent as Golden State's offense has been, their defense has been just as stout during their mini-dynasty.

Of course, a loss to the Warriors has the potential to carry more weight than others, especially for the Rockets, whom Golden State has eliminated in three of the past four postseasons, including last year's seven-game Western Conference finals. The Splash Brothers combined for 54 points while DeMarcus Cousins stepped up in KD's absence with a line of 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. "No matter how many times one beats them in the regular season, they're still the champs, and nobody knocks them off until you knock them off".

"Whether Kevin is out here or not, I play the same way", Thompson said.

With their recent struggles, the Warriors are viewing the game differently.

Ever since Kevin Durant arrived in the Bay Area in the summer of 2017, National Basketball Association fans have been in constant pursuit of any reason to not believe that the Golden State Warriors will wind up as champions once again.

Harden scoffed when asked about Curry's comment.

"I mean, it's cool", Cousins said.

"But that's OK. That's 3-1 [in the regular-season series]". "And we just gotta figure some things out and do a better job". "But having said that, with all the stuff we've gone through and all the ups and downs, and starting from 11-14 to whatever we are after that, we're in a good spot and we still have a chance to legitimately make a run for the first spot".

Westbrook finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists and three steals, while the Thunder's Paul George and Brooklyn's Spencer Dinwiddie each added 25 points.

Paul sat out from December 22-Jan.

"Yeah, that's a great team", Houston center Clint Capela said.

The Warriors were up by 13 after a reverse layup by Cousins with about 5 1/2 minutes left before Houston used a 7-2 run, with a 3-pointer from Eric Gordon, to get to 102-94. He has averaged 22 points over the last five games and has made five 3-pointers in each of the last three. 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.

"I love the way we're playing right now", P.J. Tucker said. "This was a good night".

Golden State now has a 1.5-game lead over the Denver Nuggets (44-22) for the No.1 seed in the conference.

Some have wondered if Cousins is a good fit with this fast-paced team and there have been some growing pains as he's been worked into the team after missing the first 47 games this season recovering from an Achilles' tendon injury. "I think that's what will be good for us in the playoffs".

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