Stephen Curry poured in 30 points and the Golden State Warriors tightened up on defence to beat the Houston Rockets 113-87 and give their playoff push a much needed boost on Saturday.
Curry scored 23 points in the third quarter as the Warriors seized control by going on a 24-0 run for a 77-59 lead in front of a pandemic-limited crowd of 3,700 in Texas.
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The win couldn’t have come at a better time for the Warriors, who halted a two-game losing skid after winning seven of nine previously.
The Warriors struggled on defence in both losses, surrendering a 25-0 run to the Dallas Mavericks and then giving up 37 fourth quarter points against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“We just need to bring a little joy. It’s been tough trying to create consistency, we’ve had guys in and out of the lineup and really playing eight guys every night,” Curry said. “Bringing energy is our focus, but when we bring joy and let that flow on the court — and I’ve got to lead that — that’s when good things happen.”
Curry also had six rebounds and five assists while Canadian Andrew Wiggins chipped in 20 points. Draymond Green finished with 11 rebounds and eight assists for the Warriors.
Kevin Porter, who was coming off a 50-point performance over Milwaukee on Thursday, scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half and added six assists for the under-manned Rockets. Jae’Sean Tate had 14 points for Houston, who led by as many as 11 points in the first half.
At one stage of the contest, Houston went scoreless for 5:25, missing all 12 of their shot attempts.
In Charlotte, Terry Rozier scored 29 points as the Charlotte Hornets used a 13-0 run in the final quarter to beat the Detroit Pistons 107-94.
Charlotte improved to 31-24 on the season but they had to work for the victory after the Pistons went on a 20-6 blitz that straddled the third and fourth quarters to cut the lead to just three points.
Frank Jackson led Detroit with 25 points, and Saddiq Bey added 22. The pair combined for 11 of Detroit’s 13 threes.