What we learned as Steph beats Rockets with buzzer-beater originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO -- The 16-win Indiana Pacers were too much for the Warriors on Thursday night.
One night later, it looked like the same would be true for the 14-win Houston Rockets.
Surprise, surprise, the team that had Steph Curry won. This time, at the buzzer.
Curry's 22-foot step-back jumper with no time remaining gave the Warriors a 105-103 win over the Rockets on Friday night at Chase Center, improving Golden State's record to 33-13 on the season.
The Rockets entered the night allowing the most points per game in the NBA at 116.5. But the Warriors scored only 19 points in the second quarter and trailed 54-43 at halftime. The third-quarter Warriors showed, outscoring 33-22 in the first frame after halftime. The two teams were tied at 76 points apiece going into the fourth quarter.
Once again, Curry and Co. came out victorious. Here are three takeaways from Steph's buzzer-beating Warriors win.
Friday night was far from a classic Curry performance for most of the night. He wound up putting together a double-double with 22 points and 12 assists, but he looked gassed early on after playing 44 minutes the prior night. Curry went 0-for-5 from the field in the first quarter and scored only one point.
By halftime, he had just six points and was 1-for-9 from the field as the Warriors trailed 54-43. But in the third quarter, Curry scored 11 points and handed out three assists. In the second half, he scored 16 points, plus had seven assists.
All that matter was that final shot.
He even had the Kick of the Night with his official audition for the fifth season of Cobra Kai.
Thank you, Christian Wood
Houston's center had his way with the Warriors, to put it lightly. Wood dropped 19 points and had 15 rebounds. Here's the fun part, that is for Dub Nation.
Wood was hit with a technical foul in the third quarter with the Rockets leading 63-51. The Warriors then went on an 11-0 run and were within one point of Houston. Soon after, the Warriors took their first lead since they were ahead 16-5 in the first quarter.
The Rockets scored 54 points in the paint. The Warriors will have to protect it better going forward, especially on Sunday night. Next up, Rudy Gobert and the Utah Jazz.
Porter, Poole Come Up Clutch
After sitting out the first night of the Warriors' back-to-back, Steve Kerr started Otto Porter Jr. at power forward and Jordan Poole at shooting guard with Klay Thompson out, likely to give the Warriors an offensive boost.
That plan worked to perfection. Porter scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Poole had 20 points, which were just behind Curry's 22. Porter was a plus-16 in plus-minus and Poole was a plus-18. Those two numbers topped the Warriors, and were the two best between both teams.
Poole's rise has been well documented, but it can't be stressed what a steal Porter has been after signing a one-year contract in free agency. There's only Steph Curry. It doesn't hurt having role players like these two stepping up when needed, too.