The Golden State Warriors will get an opportunity to pick on one of their favorite guests when they host the Houston Rockets on Monday night in San Francisco.
The Warriors have dropped six in a row, including the first five contests of a six-game homestand. The last two defeats have come without Draymond Green, who is out on suspension for his role in an altercation vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.
Golden State is just 1-4 in his absences this season.
The Warriors got Stephen Curry back from a knee injury on Saturday night in a 130-123 overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Curry was able to put in a season-high 40 minutes and score 25 points.
The marathon effort pushed Curry’s career total to 30,700 minutes, giving him a chance Monday to pass Nate Thurmond (30,735) for the all-time franchise lead.
The Warriors came within a buzzer-beating, game-extending 3-pointer by Oklahoma City’s Chet Holmgren from ending the losing streak Saturday. Andrew Wiggins snapped out of a season-long slump with 31 points while Klay Thompson added 16.
“You hate losing games, especially at home. This is where you set a standard of protecting your home court,” Curry said afterward. “You hate seeing 1-6, 1-5, whatever (the home record) is. You hate seeing that, but it doesn’t mean we can’t turn it around.”
Curry had 24 points, Thompson 19 and Wiggins 13 to fuel the Warriors to a 106-95 at Houston on Oct. 29. The Rockets led 87-85 with 6:42 to go before Curry sank four consecutive 3-pointers in a 15-2 flurry that produced Golden State’s 11th consecutive victory in the rivalry.
Thompson was the driving force in last year’s four-game sweep, going for 41 points in a November road win, then 42 in a February home triumph.
The Rockets will have to deal not only with an unfriendly opponent but also an unfriendly schedule when they’re forced to endure the second night of a back-to-back on Monday.
Houston played twice in Los Angeles in the past three days, falling 106-100 to the Clippers on Friday and 105-104 to the Lakers on Sunday. LeBron James’ free throw with 1.2 seconds left decided the latter contest.
Warriors fans will get their first look at a Rockets team that has been an early-season surprise with a 6-5 record. Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks, two players the Warriors have dealt with in the playoffs in recent years, are among the new driving forces.
Brooks had a team-high 24 points and VanVleet posted a 15-point, 16-assist double-double against the Lakers.
The undersized Warriors also will have to deal with emerging big man Alperen Sengun, who has scored 23 points in three consecutive outings after recording a 24-point performance to start the impressive four-game run.
Sengun had 19 points, seven assists and five rebounds in the earlier meeting with Golden State.
He had a season-best 12 assists in a win over the Sacramento Kings earlier this month, drawing comparisons to Nikola Jokic with his flashy passes.
Rockets coach Ime Udoka sees another former standout big man in Sengun’s style of play.
“You see the fancy passes, behind-the-back no-looks, and all that. It reminds me of some (Arvydas) Sabonis stuff, who I grew up watching a little bit in Portland,” Udoka said. “It’s almost like he gets bored with the game at times and wants to try to make the difficult pass instead of the simple one because he sees it ahead of time.”