Even without Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors were able to claim a Game 2 win at home over the Houston Rockets.
Golden State's Draymond Green, who finished with 12 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists, said after the game that the Warriors have "Relied on [their] depth all year -- not just when Steph's out."
"I think we're the deepest team in the NBA."
Klay Thompson stepped up for the Warriors in their 115-106 win, scoring 34 points (8-20 FG, 15-16 FT) in his fellow Splash Brother's absence. Shaun Livingston had a solid performance in Curry's spot, scoring 16 points and dishing out six assists, and Andre Iguodala dropped 18 big ones as the sixth man.
While they performed lightyears better than in Game 1, the Rockets played lazy, sloppy basketball. The ball movement they had talked about before the game was virtually nonexistent, the defense couldn't capitalize on the absence of Curry from Golden State's lineup, and they just couldn't complete any sort of comeback, always falling a possession short.
James Harden had a much better Game 2 for Houston, as he finished with 28 points (7-19 FG, 13-15 FT) and 11 assists. He and the Warriors' Thompson dueled it out in relatively similar style on offense, but the bearded man was outplayed, relying on foul calls and resulting free throws for nearly half of his scoring total.
Next to Harden, however, Dwight Howard looked lethargic. He disappeared for the first two quarters and found a bit of a spark in the third, however his lack of touches frustrated him to the point where he fouled out of the game. Howard recorded a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.
While the Rockets' hopes to win a game this series are dwindling down 2-0, they have improved and are closer to a level at which they could defeat this historic Golden State team. Playing Games 3 and 4 in Houston, the Rockets' time to strike has got to be now if they want to stay in this.
The Warriors jumped out to the game's first substantial lead midway through the first quarter, going up 23-13 with four minutes to go in that opening period, but Houston came back immediately to make it a 25-22 game two minutes later. This two-minute process (Warriors go up, Rockets close the gap) repeated itself once more and by the end of the first, Golden State held a 33-30 lead.
Houston had a tough time defending the Warriors and could not claim a lead of their own or even a tie, and Golden State eventually was able to push the lead out to 11 with under 90 seconds remaining in the half. The second quarter ended with the score 66-58.
Golden State's lead shrunk to four on oh-so-many occasions but did not get smaller than that for the entirety of the third, as Houston persisently hung on but didn't make the stops or scores to overtake the Warriors. GS led 86-79 heading into the fourth, where things stayed tight but Rockets couldn't break through.
Harden and company closed the gap to three early in the fourth quarter, Jason Terry hitting a pair of free throws two minutes in, but Golden State practically put the game on ice a few minutes later with a run to extend the score to 99-86. The Warriors led by 16 within the final three minutes and Houston just compensated late to make the loss just one of single digits.