OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Rick Adelman called his team out for being selfish and impatient. Then something clicked in the second half.
Luis Scola(notes) scored 15 of his 21 points in the third quarter and grabbed 11 rebounds, Aaron Brooks(notes) had 18 points and 12 assists, and the Rockets spoiled the Golden State Warriors’ season opener with a 108-107 victory Wednesday night.
“We were upset at halftime,” Adelman said. “The last two minutes of that second quarter we gave up four baskets for no reason. We just were not thinking. It was big for us because we’re not the same team. We’re trying to find out who we are. We’re trying to find out how we’re going to win. To come back and have a great third quarter, hopefully our team learned a lot.”
Trevor Ariza(notes) scored 14 of his 25 points in the first quarter and Houston beat the Warriors for the seventh straight time, rebounding from a season-opening loss a night earlier at Portland with a strong outing despite a strange travel day.
“This was a big win for us because it was on the road, their first game,” Ariza said. “They play with a lot of energy and to win on the road like that means a lot.”
The Rockets took a ferry from San Francisco, where they stayed across the bay, to Oakland. The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is temporarily closed down for emergency repairs after a cable on the bridge’s upper deck snapped Tuesday.
Curry already had three steals and three assists in the opening 7 1/2 minutes. Coach Don Nelson decided last week to start the exciting rookie guard, a former Davidson star chosen seventh overall by the Warriors in this year’s draft.
Jackson, the Warriors’ returning leading scorer who publicly asked for a trade in August and was later fined by the NBA for the remarks, was regularly booed and also received some cheers when things went well. Jackson appeared to cup his ear in response to the crowd when booed.
“It is what it is,” Jackson said. “I don’t expect everybody to love me. I heard it but I didn’t let it affect my game at all. To each his own. I’ve been booed many times. This isn’t the first time.”
Starting with back-to-back road games is just the beginning of a tough stretch for the injury-depleted Rockets. Houston now hosts Portland on Saturday, plays at Utah, returns home again to face the Lakers and Oklahoma City, then gets a four-day break before a game at Dallas on Nov. 10.
“We’re going to have our share of exposure the first five games,” Adelman said.
The Rockets are without Yao for the year following offseason foot surgery and McGrady, who had microfracture surgery on his left knee, isn’t expected to return until midseason.
Jackson was announced first among the Warriors starters and casually strolled to midcourt. Jackson, who received a three-year contract extension worth roughly $28 million last November, asked to relinquish his captain title earlier this month and in doing so relinquished his “Captain Jack” nickname.
Nelson dismissed a report the Warriors might be close to pulling off a trade for Jackson—and Jackson said: “If it happens, it happens. I’m just waiting to see.”
“I haven’t heard that. I speak to (GM) Larry (Riley) every day,” Nelson said. “This is the first I’ve heard of that. It would surprise me if that’s true.”
Curry’s much-anticipated debut was hyped to a near-Chris Webber(notes) level. Webber, fresh off his days as part of Michigan’s Fab Five, was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 1993 and dealt from Orlando to Golden State in a draft-day trade. He went on to win NBA Rookie of the Year honors.
Curry had a steal on the Rockets’ first possession but immediately missed a 3 on the other end. He was 1 for 6 in the first half and got swatted as he went up for a layup in the closing minutes of the second quarter.
Notes: Rockets rookie Chase Budinger(notes) added 11 points with three 3s off the bench. … This was the Warriors’ fourth straight opening-game loss. “I guess that’s why I hate home openers,” Nelson said. … In a brief pregame presentation, Riley gave Morrow a plaque for leading the league in 3-point shooting percentage last season as a rookie at 46.7 percent (86 for 184). … Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell sat courtside. … The Warriors drew a sellout crowd of 19,596.