Preview: Warriors at Rockets
The Golden State Warriors are fighting through some in-house drama while trying to downplay a dustup between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green that ended with Green getting suspended by the team for a game. Green and Durant will try to work together again when the Warriors visit the Houston Rockets on Thursday in a rematch of last season’s Western Conference finals.
A public shouting match on the court during Monday’s overtime loss at the Los Angeles Clippers spilled over into the locker room, which led to Green being suspended for Tuesday’s 110-103 home win over the Atlanta Hawks. “I’m gonna keep that in-house,” Durant told reporters of his interactions with Green after scoring 29 points to lead the team on Tuesday. “That’s what we do here. I mean, obviously I know you guys got a job to do, but I’m not trying to give nobody no headlines. What happened, happened. We’re trying to move on — just trying to play basketball.” The Rockets are not the same team that took Golden State to seven games in the Western Conference finals last spring but at least appear to be trending in the right direction with wins in back-to-back games and Carmelo Anthony reportedly on his way out of town. Houston averaged 112 points in wins over the Pacers and Nuggets after failing to reach the century mark in four straight contests.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (12-3): Golden State shooting guard Klay Thompson was of the belief that Green and Durant would quickly be able to get back on the same page as long as the team wins. “A win on Thursday,” Thompson told reporters when asked what would defuse the situation. “And a win on Saturday and Sunday. Once we go on a little win streak (the Green-Durant situation) will not matter. And this will be in the past like a ponytail.” The Warriors are operating without superstar point guard Stephen Curry, who will miss at least five more games with a groin injury before being re-evaluated on Nov. 24.
ABOUT THE ROCKETS (6-7): The experiment of adding Anthony to the mix quickly fizzled and Houston is trying to move on by tightening up on the defensive end. “It’s going to take time, but we’re getting there,” Rockets star guard James Harden told reporters after Tuesday’s 109-99 triumph over the Nuggets. “If we keep guarding and defending at a high level our offense will come around. Once we put both together, it’s going to get scary.” Harden contributed 22 points and 11 assists in the win but went 2-of-10 from 3-point range and is 11-of-41 from beyond the arc over the last three contests.
1. Warriors PF Jones Jerebko started in place of Green on Tuesday and collected 14 points and 13 rebounds.
2. Rockets G/F Gerald Green (ankle) sat out the last two games but could return on Thursday.
3. Green averaged 8.3 points, 11.9 rebounds and 6.7 assists in last season’s Western Conference finals.