Dec 13, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Rockets small forward Chandler Parsons (25) controls the ball between Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson (11) and point guard Stephen Curry (30) during the second quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Comeback Fails This Time As Warriors Lose 116-112 to Rockets

The Golden State Warriors lost 16-112 to the Houston Rockets at Oracle Arena on Friday night. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors’ past two home games have both been huge come-from-behind wins, rallying from a 27 and 18-point deficits to beat Toronto and Dallas, respectively.

But it’s never a good strategy to dig a hole early on in the game, because big comeback wins don’t come very often. The Warriors (13-11) learned that the hard way tonight, falling 116-112 to the Houston Rockets at Oracle Arena.

As was the case in their previous home games, the Warriors struggled mightily in the first half and found themselves down by 13 at one point. They began the fourth quarter down 82-73, but then went on a 16-7 run to start the quarter and tie the game. Marreese Speights, who had his best game of the season with 16 points and nine rebounds, scored 12 points in the fourth. His basket with 6:35 left in the game gave the Warriors a 91-90 lead.

But the Rockets (15-8) would take over from there. James Harden and Patrick Beverly caused nightmares for the Warriors down the stretch. Beverly essentially iced the game with two field goals down the stretch that gave the Rockets a 107-100 lead with under a minute to play.

Tale of the Tape

Warriors

  • Field Goals: 47.8% (43-90)
  • 3-Pointers: 27.3% (6-22) 
  • Rebounds: 56
  • Assists: 22
  • Turnovers: 18
  • Foul shooting: 83.3% (20-24)

Rockets

  • Field Goals: 49.4% (39-79)
  • 3-Pointers: 41.4% (12-29)
  • Rebounds: 32
  • Assists: 20
  • Turnovers: 15
  • Foul shooting: 74.3% (26-35)

The “Clank” Brothers

The Warriors live and die on the three-pointer. More than often, they live on it, leading the league with a 41.8 percent average from behind the arc.

But tonight they died on it, and boy was it ugly. Golden State shot a measly 6-of-22 on threes, and the Splash Brothers — Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson — looked more like the “Clank” Brothers, combining to make just two of 14 attempts from three. Thompson struggled yet again from the field, and his only three-pointer came during garbage time. Curry finished with 20 points, but had an ugly plus-minus rating of -18.

Crashing the Glass

The Warriors had their way with the Rockets on the glass all night, out-rebounding them 56-22. In fact, that’s the first time they have out-rebounded an opponent by 24 since 2001. Andrew Bogut had himself a fine game, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 boards.

Good to Know

The Warriors have now lost 18 of their last 22 games against the Rockets, including both matchups this season.

Can you say, “Houston, we have a problem”?

Bottom Line

Considering how the Warriors were straight-up dominated in their previous matchup against Houston earlier this season, it is a little comforting to know that they were at least competitive tonight and could have come away with a win.

But “could have won” is in no way the same as a win, and any player will tell you that there’s no such thing as a silver lining.

For whatever reason, the Warriors are developing an awful habit of starting games extremely lackadaisical and slow, then having to make a spirited comeback just to get themselves back in the game late. This type of play may thrill fans and make for exciting basketball, but it sure doesn’t thrill Mark Jackson and his coaching staff.

Perhaps a few more losses like this will stimulate this team. Sure, they beat the Mavericks and Raptors with thrilling comebacks, but they also lost to the Bobcats and now the Rockets when their comeback fell short.

Bottom line: whatever they’re doing, it’s not a good formula for success moving forward.

What’s on Tap

The Warriors will travel to Phoenix to play the Suns on Sunday. Yes, those Suns that have exceeded expectations and are ahead of the Warriors in the standings.

Oh, and by the way, if the playoffs started today, the Warriors wouldn’t be in it.

Happy Friday.

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