The Golden State Warriors may have snapped an 11-game losing streak in beating the Houston Rockets on Monday, but the win hardly fueled optimism for the defending champions’ current predicament and standing in the Western Conference.
A 121-108 win perhaps looks more comfortable than what it was in reality, with the Warriors taking till the fourth-quarter to finally separate themselves from their rebuilding opponent. Houston had even cut the margin to seven with just under two minutes left in the contest, before Golden State steadied to avoid some tricky final moments.
Golden State Warriors’ forward Draymond Green has criticized his team’s focus level in the first-half against the Houston Rockets on Monday.
The Warriors led for the majority of the game, though self-inflicted mistakes helped keep the Rockets in the contest during the first-half. Speaking in the post-match press conference, veteran Draymond Green was scathing in his assessment of the team’s opening to the game.
"“Our focus level was pathetic to start the game. You come into a game like this, you know, it’s a young athletic team. They’re going to be in passing lanes and we were really careless with the ball. I thought we did a good job of cleaning it up after a while”, Green said."
Golden State had 12 turnovers in an error-filled first-half, aiding a Houston team that otherwise struggled to manufacture any meaningful offense. The Warriors cut that to six turnovers in the second-half, helping them post 66 points across the final 24 minutes to secure the much-needed win.
Still, it was hardly an uplifting performance for a now 37-36 Golden State outfit. Green’s right, their first-half performance would have likely seen them down double-digits to any competent, slightly experienced NBA team. They’ll take the win sure, but a win over the 18-54 Rockets is hardly anything to write home about. Stephen Curry confirmed that in his post-match press conference, stating, “we still have to play better, no one’s really celebrating anything.”
The win does mean the Warriors re-take the West’s sixth-seed from the Dallas Mavericks, with a Luka Doncic-less team capitulating to lose against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday. In what promises to be perhaps the most important matchup of the regular season, Golden State now travels to Dallas to close out their road-trip on Wednesday.