Curry's late surge, including four three-pointers, propels Warriors to a 106-95 victory against the Rockets
THOMAS (AP) — On Sunday night, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets 106-95 thanks to the contributions of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, who finished with 24 points, four 3-pointers, and 19 assists.
The Rockets started to cut into the gap, but the Warriors still had a 16-point advantage.
Halfway in the fourth quarter, a basket by Jalen Green put them ahead by two. At that point, Curry took over, draining four 3-pointers in under two minutes to lead Golden State to a 15-2 run that put them up 100-89 with three minutes remaining.
With a sprained left ankle, Draymond Green missed the first two games of the season before making his debut. Chris Paul was forced into a reserve role upon his return to the starting lineup, which was the first time in his 12-year NBA career that the All-Star had ever come off the bench.
Paul had started and appeared in more games than any other player since the NBA started keeping track of them in 1982. This was the case as of Sunday. Paul started all 1,365 of his NBA games, including playoffs.
Paul hadn't started a meaningful game since his college days. It was on December 13, 2004, to be exact, when he was a little late for the team bus and started the first four minutes of Wake Forest's match versus Temple as a benchwarmer. Up until Sunday, Paul had started all 19 of his NBA seasons and the final 25 games of his collegiate career.
After combining for 24 points and 21 assists in Golden State's opening two games of the season, Paul had eight points and seven assists in 27 minutes when he stepped in with 6:58 remaining in the first quarter.
Now that Paul's run has ended, Damian Lillard of Milwaukee, who participated in his 833rd game as a professional on Sunday, has more starts than any other active player who hasn't played as a reserve. Next on that list is Kyrie Irving of Dallas, who has made 748 NBA appearances, all of which have been starts.
In just 21 minutes, Draymond Green—who coach Steve Kerr claimed was limited in his playing time—had four points, five rebounds, and five assists.
Alperen Sengun scored 19 points and Jalen Green scored 21 for the Rockets, who are now 0-3 on the year.
Houston tied the game at 81-81 after scoring the first six points of the fourth quarter. Paul restored Golden State's lead with a jump jumper.
Jeff Green's dunk later in the fourth quarter leveled the score once more, and Jalen Green's jumper with roughly 6 and a half minutes left gave the Rockets the lead before Curry took over.
With little over seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, Curry made a 3-pointer to put the Warriors ahead by thirteen.
With four minutes remaining in the first, Houston trimmed the margin to 72-69 after scoring the next seven points to initiate a 14-4 run. During that time, Brooks scored four points and Smith made a 3-pointer.
The Rockets launched a 4-1 run to close the gap to three points once more, but Gary Payton II's three-pointer put the Warriors ahead. This time, Jonathan Kuminga made two of three free throws and Moses Moody added a 3-pointer to increase the score to 81-73.
However, Jae'Sean Tate trimmed the margin to six going into the fourth quarter with two free throws at the end of the quarter.