LOS ANGELES, USA – The Golden State Warriors gave their fans an unexpected holiday treat: a 116-104 victory over the Houston Rockets in San Francisco on Wednesday, December 25 (Thursday, December 26, Philippine time).
While the Warriors have reached the last 5 NBA Finals, they’ve struggled with injuries that have seen stars Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry sidelined and were underdogs against the Rockets lineup featuring James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
Draymond Green scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half and Damion Lee added 22 points and a career-high 15 rebounds as the Warriors rallied to win their third straight – just their eighth victory of the season.
All 5 @warriors starters score double figures in the #NBAXmas win vs. Houston! #DubNation @Dami0nLee: 22 PTS, 15 REB @Money23Green: 20 PTS, 11 REB@Dloading: 20 PTS@GRIII: 18 PTS, 2-2 3PM@THEwillieCS15: 10 PTS, 4 BLK pic.twitter.com/0ZC73ov0nK— LIVE on ESPN/ABC: LAC@LAL (@NBA) December 26, 2019
Westbrook had 30 points and 12 rebounds for Houston. Harden had 24 points and 11 assists as the Warriors’ effective defense kept him away from the free throw line.
“It feels amazing,” Green said. “You know, we have a super young team and it’s been a rough season. But (coach Steve Kerr) has been telling us for the last month we’re getting better, we’re getting better. It’s finally starting to show and paying off and it feels good.”
The Christmas win was a welcome boost for the struggling Warriors.
“This game meant a lot to us, and you can see it in the way our players approached it,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
It’s great,” Green said. “It’s been a very trying season for us.
“It’s a lot of these guys’ first time playing on Christmas. That’s a huge stage, and to come out and execute like we did and to actually get a win like we did against a very good team, it definitely feels good.”
There was another upset in Denver, where the lowly New Orleans Pelicans toppled the Nuggets 112-100.
Brandon Ingram scored 31 points for the Pelicans – who are just a rung above the cellar-dwelling Warriors in the West at 9-23 – and New Orleans snapped the second-placed Nuggets’ (21-9) seven-game winning streak. – Rappler.com