Curry, Warriors hand Howard-less Rockets first loss of season

Stephen Curry (30) led all scorers with 34 points, hit six 3-pointers and added 10 rebounds.

Troy Taormina / USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON (AP) -- Stephen Curry had 34 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Golden State Warriors past the depleted Houston Rockets 98-87 Saturday night in a matchup of undefeated teams.

Houston played without center Dwight Howard (flu-like symptoms) and power forward Terrence Jones (bruised right leg), which made things much easier for the Warriors inside.

They outscored the Rockets 56-32 in the paint and improved to 5-0 for the first time since the 1994-95 season, when Golden State finished 26-56 under coach Don Nelson.

Warriors center Andrew Bogut dominated the glass in Howard's absence, pulling down 18 rebounds.

Curry shot 6 for 9 from 3-point range and finished with five assists and four steals. Andre Iguodala scored most of his 15 points near the basket, and forward Draymond Green added 14.

James Harden led the Rockets (6-1) with 22 points, and point guard Isaiah Canaan had 21.

Playing without their two starting big men, the Rockets attempted a season-high 42 3-pointers, making just 10, for their worst shooting performance (23.8 percent) of the young season. They entered the game leading the NBA at 43.1 percent from beyond the arc but struggled mightily to knock down open shots on Saturday.

Golden State struggled to keep pace with the Rockets in the first half, primarily because of Houston's ability to get to the free throw line. Klay Thompson played only 10 minutes in the first half after picking up his third foul early in the second quarter.

Thompson finished with 11 points for Golden State.

Donatas Motiejunas hit a 3-pointer as time expired in the first half to give the Rockets a 56-48 lead.

The Warriors quickly erased the deficit in the third quarter, however, by forcing six turnovers and outscoring the Rockets 28-13. Houston went a miserable 1 of 12 on 3-pointers in the third. The Rockets entered the fourth quarter trailing for the first time this season.

Motiejunas had 16 points and Jason Terry added 11 off the bench for Houston.

Golden State outscored the Rockets 50-31 in the second half as Houston struggled to control the ball without point guard Patrick Beverley (hamstring).



Warriors: Bogut had 14 defensive rebounds, and Golden State outrebounded the undersized Rockets 54-46.

Rockets: Making the first starts of their NBA careers, forward Kostas Papanikolaou and center Tarik Black combined for four points and 15 rebounds in the absence of Howard and Jones.


Golden State remains on the road Sunday against the Phoenix Suns, who have lost three of four since a 2-0 start.

The Rockets rest until Wednesday, when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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