Klay Thompson helped the Golden State Warriors pull out a thrilling victory their last time out.
Wins haven’t been easy to come by lately against the Houston Rockets.
Seeking a season best-tying fifth consecutive home win, the Warriors look for their momentum to carry over Friday night against the Rockets, winners of 16 of 18 in the series.
Two nights after beating Toronto 125-118, Golden State (35-27) had its hands full with lowly Sacramento before escaping with an 87-83 win Wednesday. Thompson scored a team-high 20, including the go-ahead 3 with 7.5 seconds to play for the Warriors, who were limited to 36.0 percent shooting - their worst mark in a win since February 2003.
“We’re not the Miami Heat. We’re not the Oklahoma City Thunder. A lot of nights it’s not going to be pretty,” coach Mark Jackson said. “That’s just the fact. I embrace it. I give my guys credit because we battled, we competed, we got stops when we had to and we continued to put a check mark in the (win) column.”
While he may sometimes get overshadowed by sharpshooter Stephen Curry and All-Star forward David Lee, Thompson has played a key role in Golden State’s success. He’s averaging 23.7 points while going 15 for 27 from 3-point range over the last three games, and the Warriors are 23-10 when he scores at least 16.
“I watch this guy every single day and this guy is a knockdown shooter in every sense of the term,” Jackson said. “When you pick guys, that have ever played this game, that had to shoot a wide open shot - he’s in the discussion. That’s what Klay does for a living.”
Lee, who leads the NBA with 41 double-doubles, had 17 points and 10 boards Wednesday. Curry scored 13 on 3-of-11 shooting after averaging 34.6 points over the previous five games.
The Warriors have won eight of nine by the Bay, with their only loss coming 116-107 to the Rockets on Feb. 12. James Harden compiled 27 points to lead seven players in double figures for Houston.
The Rockets (33-29) also beat the Warriors 140-109 on Feb. 5, while tying an NBA record and setting a franchise mark with 23 3-pointers.
Houston snapped a nine-game losing streak against Dallas with Sunday’s 136-103 rout, but fell 112-108 in the back end of a home-and-home set Wednesday. Harden had 28 points and nine assists while Chandler Parsons scored 23, but the Rockets allowed the host Mavericks to shoot 54.2 percent.
Losers of 12 of 18 as the visiting team, the Rockets sit in seventh place in the Western Conference, two games behind the Warriors.
“This doesn’t change anything. We’re going to stick together. We think we should have won the game. So we’re not going to hang our heads at all,” said Parsons, who’s averaging 24.0 points while going 21 for 36 from long distance over the last five games.
“We played well enough to win the game and just didn’t. So we’ll clean up some stuff … and get ready for Golden State.”
Jeremy Lin, who played sparingly for the Warriors in the first year of his career, is averaging 21.0 points and 9.5 assists against them this season. The Rockets are 20-10 when he has at least seven assists compared to 13-19 when he has six or fewer.