Golden State Warriors drop season opener to Houston Rockets

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 17: James Harden
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 17: James Harden /

The Golden State Warriors lost to the Houston Rockets 122-121 in their season opener.

The Golden State Warriors got the season started off with something we can all get used to: a ring ceremony. With the Larry O’Brien trophy at half court and the champs circled around it, they got their jewelry one by one. The team then got together to watch the championship banner fly up into the rafters.

After the festivities, it was time to go to work. The Warriors began their title defense against the Houston Rockets, but it unfortunately didn’t work out how they wanted as they fell to the Rockets in a close 122-121 loss.

To recap the conclusion: the Warriors inbounded the ball with 10 seconds left and the chance to win the game. Stephen Curry missed the jumper, but the Dubs were able to secure the rebound. Kevin Durant knocked down the midrange jumpshot, but it was still in his hand when time expired.

As expected, it was a high-scoring affair. Mike D’Antoni‘s Rockets love to run and the Warriors are the best at it. There were three-pointers everywhere.

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Klay Thompson got it going early. He had 13 first-half points, nine of them coming from beyond the arc. He helped the Warriors push the lead to double digits quickly.

Curry, who was showered with “MVP” chants as he got his ring, picked up two fouls early in the first quarter. Despite hitting his first three-pointer, he had to go to the bench earlier than he would have. It also threw off rotations a bit, especially with Andre Iguodala out with a back injury.

Curry and Kevin Durant couldn’t develop the first half rhythm that they were in the last time we saw them take the Oracle Arena floor in a meaningful game. Luckily, the Dubs are the deepest team in the league (and possibly ever), and that’s where Nick Young comes in.

Young was on fire in the first half, helping the Dubs build their lead and keep the Rockets at bay. He was 7-8 from the field, knocking down five of his six three-pointers. He had the entire arena buzzing with his beautiful shots and high-energy play. He had 20 first-half points, more than Curry and Durant’s combined 15 points.

The Warriors couldn’t quite pull away, allowing the Rockets back into the game with several big runs. James Harden, Eric Gordon, and Ryan Anderson each found ways to make big shots to cut into the Warriors’ lead and build momentum.

Draymond Green sustained a knee injury in the third quarter, which definitely hurt the Warriors late in the game when they were seemingly unable to get stops or big rebounds. Instead, they had to rely on Kevon Looney.

The result: the Warriors were outscored by 14 points in the fourth quarter. The Rockets made big plays when they needed to and did just enough to squeeze by. Steve Kerr‘s lineup experimentation ultimately hurt Golden State and resulted in the first loss of the year.

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If it’s any consolation for Warriors fans, however, the team lost the season opener last year…and that ended up working out pretty damn well for them.