Rockets-Warriors Preview

The Golden State Warriors have to be feeling good about their
chances of regrouping at home after a winless four-game trip.

Last week’s stop in Houston is surely fresh in their minds.

Golden State tries to snap its longest losing streak of the
season Tuesday night and avenge an especially ugly defeat to a
Rockets team that’s controlled this series of late.

While the Warriors (30-21) have been one of the NBA’s better
clubs over the first half of 2012-13, they allowed an average of
118.5 points and were outscored by 20.7 per game during their
trek.

“It’s very frustrating,” All-Star forward David Lee said. “Not
only losing four games in a row, but in the manner that we lost
them. Every team goes through those ups and downs during the
season. The key for us is to figure it out sooner rather than
later.”

The Warriors saw their woes continue Saturday in a 116-91 loss
at Dallas, their fourth game in five nights. Stephen Curry had 18
points on 8-of-23 shooting and Klay Thompson was limited to 11 –
5.3 less than his season mark – for Golden State, which was
outscored 29-8 in transition.

“We’re fine. There’s no panic,” coach Mark Jackson told the
league’s official website. “We lost another game. We didn’t play
well, we made mistakes, we did not put together 48 minutes of
basketball, but there’s going to be no panic. We’re going to
regroup and be preparing for the next one.”

Winners of four in a row and 15 of their last 19 at home, the
Warriors didn’t appear to be adequately prepared for their visit to
Houston last Tuesday.

Jeremy Lin had 28 points to lead eight players in double figures
as the Rockets (28-25) tied an NBA record and set a franchise mark
with 23 3-pointers in a 140-109 rout. Golden State prevented
Houston, which has won three straight and 15 of 17 in this series,
from setting the record by fouling down the stretch.

“Throughout the whole game, you figured they’d cool off,” Curry
said. “But we have to force them to take tougher shots. You just
can’t give them open looks.”

The Rockets could be hard-pressed to come out with a repeat
performance given their recent efforts on the road. Houston, which
has dropped three straight and nine of 12 in opposing arenas, fell
117-111 at Sacramento in the opener of a three-game trip
Sunday.

Averaging 33.7 points and shooting 63.5 percent over the last
three games, James Harden scored 30 for the Rockets, who let a
10-point, fourth-quarter lead slip away.

“It’s definitely a setback and I feel like we gave this one
away,” said forward Chandler Parsons, whose team visits the Los
Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. “On the road, coming down the
stretch we have to take it. It’s only going to get harder on this
road trip with Golden State and in L.A. … Those games now are a
lot bigger.”

Golden State could be without Jarrett Jack for a fourth
consecutive game due to a bruised shoulder. The veteran point
guard, who scored 20 against the Rockets last week, was averaging
15.9 points and 7.8 assists over a 12-game stretch before getting
hurt.

Still trying to get his left ankle back to full strength,
Warriors center Andrew Bogut is expected to be available after
sitting out the second game of a back-to-back Saturday.