Programming note: Warriors-Rockets coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay area and streaming live right here.
OAKLAND – If ever there were night made for offensive pyrotechnics, it is Thursday night, when the Warriors face the Houston Rockets at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors will be chasing their 13th consecutive victory, and they’ll be seeking it against a Rockets team that hasn’t posed much of a threat of late. The Warriors have won 16 of the last 17 meetings, dating back to the 2015 Western Conference Finals.
Both teams make 13.8 3-pointers per game, which has them tied for first place in that category.
The Rockets (11-7) in the offseason hired coach Mike D’Antoni and signed free agents Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon, and the trio has helped lift the team to No. 4 in scoring, at 109.3 points per game.
Warriors by 11
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Klay Thompson vs. James Harden -- Thompson’s defensive numbers have tumbled this season, but this is one of several matchups that get his full attention. Harden’s high school team eliminated Thompson while the two were preps in Southern California. Harden has been a one-man gang, scoring (fourth in the NBA) but also distributing like never before (first in assists). The Warriors typically send waves of defenders at Harden, so in addition to Thompson he’ll see plenty of Andre Iguodala, a bit of Draymond Green maybe even some Kevin Durant.
Warriors: No injuries listed.
Rockets: No injuries listed.
Warriors C Damian Jones is on assignment with the Development League Santa Cruz Warriors.
Warriors: 10-0. Rockets: 6-4.
The Warriors have won the last eight regular-season meetings and ousted Houston in five games (4-1) in the first round of the 2016 Western Conference playoffs.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
1) The 3-ball -- The Rockets rank 29th out of 30 teams in defending the 3-point line. The Warriors rank third in field-goal percentage beyond the arc. Their season-high for attempts is 38, and there’s a chance they surpass that number against Houston.
2) The point guards -- No point guard is peskier than Houston’s hyper-aggressive Patrick Beverley, whose roughhouse tactics instigated a shoving match with Stephen Curry in the first round of the playoffs last spring. The on-court friction between these two former AAU teammates is real, so it could get heated.
3) The benches -- The leader of the Warriors’ bench squad is Andre Iguodala, a terrific all-around player known mostly for his defense. Houston’s Sixth Man is Gordon, a long-distance shooting specialist who has been playing well of late. If the game is closes, the impact of the benches will be significant.