THE MERCURY NEWS
HOUSTON — The Warriors have missed their most talented and efficient one-on-one scorer in Kevin Durant. No matter.
The Warriors still finished with a 106-104 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday because of their four other All-Star as well as a dependable supporting cast.
Klay Thompson (30 points on 12-of-23 shooting) and Stephen Curry (24 points on 8-of-20 shooting) handled things seamlessly in the backcourt with a combined 8-of-19 mark from 3-point range. DeMarcus Cousins added a season-high 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and seven assists in 32 minutes. Though the Rockets leaned well on James Harden (29 points) and Chris Paul (24), the Warriors held the Rockets to a combined 11-of-41 clip from deep.
The Warriors cut the Rockets’ regular-season lead to 3-1 and avoided a regular-season sweep for the first time since losing four games to the San Antonio Spurs in 2013-14. The Warriors (46-21) also have a 11/2 game over the Denver Nuggets (44-22) for the Western Conference’s best record after rectifying Sunday’s loss to Phoenix.
The Warriors did all of this without Durant, who remained sidelined with a right ankle contusion. The Warriors have listed Durant as day-to-day, but Warriors coach Steve Kerr expressed optimism he will return at some point during the team’s four-game trip.
The Warriors play in Oklahoma City on Saturday followed by a back-to-back in San Antonio (March 18) and Minnesota (March 19).