Midway through the third quarter, Stephen Curry flexed his muscles and let out a massive roar into the Toyota Center rafters that released nearly a week of frustration.
Curry scored 23 of his 30 points in the third quarter to lead the Warriors’ decisive run in Saturday night’s 113-87 win over the Houston Rockets.
After Andrew Wiggins’ layup erased an 11-point deficit midway through the third quarter, Curry snapped out of a shooting slump that saw him miss 19 of 27 3-point attempts over his last two games with a corner 3-pointer. As the ball dropped through the net, Curry kick-started Golden State’s 24-0 run with a full-throated yell.
“It was kind of an avalanche from there,” Curry said. “It was a special shot given how bad the first half was.”
The relief was palpable. After all, it had been a rough few nights for Curry and the Warriors. Curry — whose April will go down as one of the great scoring months in league history — was coming off a 40% shooting performance in Thursday’s disappointing loss in Minnesota and a blowout loss to the Mavericks on Tuesday.
Early on, it looked as if Golden State was on track for a third straight letdown as Curry shot just 2 for 12 to start the game and the Warriors trailed by six at halftime.
A loss would have been unacceptable. Not only would it have come against the Rockets (16-48), owners of the league’s worst record, but it also would have dropped Golden State to two games below .500 in the midst of a playoff push.
But Curry with his timely flurry, including 12 straight to crest the 39-12 third quarter, lifted his teammates the way he has on so many occasions this season.
Wiggins finished with 20 points, Draymond Green tallied nine points, 11 rebounds and eight assists and reserves Jordan Poole and Mychal Mulder chipped in 17 points apiece while the defense held Houston to 36.4% shooting overall.
Having earned a well-deserved break in a blowout win on the road, Curry spent the fourth quarter on the bench chair-dancing with Green.
For the Rockets, Kevin Porter Jr. followed his 50-point outing Thursday against Milwaukee with 16 points and six assists. Center Christian Wood finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Because they own the tie-breaker over the San Antonio Spurs, the win moves the Warriors (32-32) into ninth place in the Western Conference. With eight games left, they trail the Memphis Grizzlies by a game for the No. 8 seed and spot in the seven-eight matchup of the play-in tournament.
Next, Golden State wraps up its final trip of the season with back-to-back games in New Orleans Monday and Tuesday.
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Source:: The Mercury News – Sports
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