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sport / / BANG: Warriors put a pin in Rockets’ postseason hopes with blowout win

o BANG: Warriors put a pin in Rockets’ postseason hopes with blowout winAllen

BANG: Warriors put a pin in Rockets’ postseason hopes with blowout win


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From: (Allen)
Subject: BANG:_Warriors_put_a_pin_in_Rockets’_postseason
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2024 15:06:31 -0700
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 by: Allen - Fri, 5 Apr 2024 22:06 UTC

Warriors put a pin in Rockets’ postseason hopes with blowout win
Klay Thompson and Steph Curry each poured in a game-high 29 points
>Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, left, celebrates his three
point shot next to Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) during the
first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, April 4, 2024, in
Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

Danny Emerman is a Bay Area News Group sports reporter
By DANNY EMERMAN | | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: April 4, 2024 at 7:24 p.m. | UPDATED: April 5, 2024 at 4:21 a.m.

HOUSTON — The Warriors have ended the Rockets’ season four times during
their dynastic run. The last two, in the 2019 Western Conference
Semifinals and 2018 Conference Finals, came in the Toyota Center.

The faces in red and white jerseys are new, but the Warriors effectively
turned off the lights on another Rockets season on Thursday. By coming
into Houston and dominating, the Warriors buried the Rockets’ faint
postseason hopes.

For their season-high sixth straight victory, the Warriors (42-34) shot
17-for-35 (48.6%) from deep and won the rebounding battle, 43 to 29.
Klay Thompson poured in 29 points on 7-for-11 from deep, Steph Curry
matched him with an efficient 29, and Trayce Jackson-Davis logged a
career-high 20 points.

The Warriors never trailed in a 133-110 blowout. The win provides the
Warriors a cushy pillow of security. With six games remaining, they’re
now four games up on the Rockets in the standings and own the
tiebreaker, meaning they’ve effectively clinched at least the 10-seed —
the lowest play-in slot.

With Houston buried in their rearview, the Warriors can make up ground
on the Lakers. Stealing the ninth seed would allow them to avoid having
to play sudden death play-in games on the road before even starting a
traditional playoff series.

The Warriors looked comfortable from the beginning; given their history
in this building, why wouldn’t they? Golden State started on a
commanding 19-6 run halfway through the first quarter, blanketing the
Rockets with their new-and-improved defense.

Houston responded with a 9-0 run as Curry hit the bench and a rash of
turnovers overcame Golden State, but Chris Paul nailed a pair of
3-pointers to stem the Rockets’ rally. The Warriors hit eight of their
first 12 triples.

Thompson eclipsed 20 points during the second quarter on a
catch-and-shoot 3. Like so many times in the halcyon days of the
Warriors-Rockets rivalry, Thompson was unconscious. At one point, he
sank a one-legged, pirouetting fall-away in the post. He stared down
Dillon Brooks, a frequent Warriors foe, after hitting a 3.

The Warriors’ starting lineup, with double bigs, Andrew Wiggins and the
Splash Bros., closed the half on a 9-0 run to give Golden State a 65-50
lead. That unit has really gelled as Jonathan Kuminga (knee tendinitis)
has been sidelined for the past five games.

The Warriors’ starting unit again began the second half strong, building
a 19-point lead. Curry, a victim of the league’s officiating tweak that
has allowed more contact, earned his first free throws in over 51
minutes of game time. He threw both hands up after the blocking call on
Fred VanVleet, screaming, “YES” to the Warriors’ bench.

LeBron James’ son, USC’s Bronny James, declares for NBA draft
The Warriors found a gem in Trayce Jackson-Davis
Why Jonathan Kuminga was scratched from big Warriors-Rockets matchup
Stage set for Warriors-Rockets matchup with major play-in ramifications
Warriors provide proof of concept with defensive gem against Mavericks

Curry’s gesture was a playful jab at the way he has been officiated
recently, but it also could have applied to the Warriors generally. As
they cruised in the fourth, they secured their longest winning streak of
the year — with quality victories against Orlando, Dallas and now
Houston. Their defense, which held four of their past six opponents
below 100 points, limited the red-hot Jalen Green to 13 points on
4-for-12 shooting.

The rotation mix Steve Kerr has been searching for all year seems to
have fallen into place. They’re still bound for the play-in, but if the
Warriors are peaking at the right time, it’s hard to imagine any Western
Conference team outside of Denver being thrilled facing Golden State in
the postseason.

Their latest statement came from Houston. The way they’re playing, the
Warriors will be capable of ending more seasons.

sport / / BANG: Warriors put a pin in Rockets’ postseason hopes with blowout win


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