NBA regular season

Klay Thompson erupts as Warriors ward off Rockets for elusive 1st road win


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Klay Thompson erupts as Warriors ward off Rockets for elusive 1st road win

SPLASH BROTHERS. Klay Thompson and Steph Curry connive as the Warriors finally win on the road.

Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Warriors improve to 1-8 on the road behind a timely explosion from Klay Thompson, who nets a season-high in points

Klay Thompson scored a season-high 41 points, Stephen Curry posted a season-best 15 assists, and the Golden State Warriors recorded their first road victory of the season with a hard-fought 127-120 decision over the Houston Rockets on Sunday, November 20 (Monday, November 21, Manila time).

After blowing a 20-point first-quarter lead, the Warriors had to battle tooth and nail to ward off the Rockets.

Curry and Thompson were up to the task, teaming for a three-pointer prior to the close to the third quarter that provided the Warriors a 97-94 lead entering the final period. In the fourth, Thompson drilled 3 three-pointers including, one with 66 seconds left that answered a pair of free throws by Rockets rookie Jabari Smith Jr. and extended the Warriors to a 123-117 lead.

Curry assisted on the Thompson three-pointer to close the third and the three-pointer that pushed the lead to 6. He followed with a three-pointer with 34.2 seconds left that levied the knockout blow. Curry added 33 points and 7 rebounds. He and Thompson were a combined 17-of-27 from deep.

Andrew Wiggins added 22 points for the Warriors, who shot 53.5% and were 24-of-47 on three-pointers.

The Rockets gave a spirited effort, led by Kevin Porter Jr. (30 points and 6 assists) and Smith, who scored a career-high 22 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Fellow rookie Tari Eason added a career-high 19 points with 8 rebounds and 3 steals. KJ Martin scored 12 off the bench.

It was a scorching start for the Warriors and Thompson in particular. Golden State led by as many as 18 points in the first quarter behind Thompson, who hit his first 6 shots before missing a three. Thompson was up to 18 points at that juncture and had 20 of the Warriors’ 40 points in the period as Golden State shot 69.6% while making 6 of 9 shots from behind the arc.

However, Houston whittled that 18-point deficit to 40-28 entering the second and went on an extended 18-2 run behind its bench, most notably Martin and Eason. Martin capped the surge with a dunk at the 9:25 mark that listed the Rockets to a 41-40 lead, and Houston extended that margin to 61-52 on a pair of Green free throws to complete the 29-point, first-half turnaround.

Curry responded with a three-pointer, an assist on a Thompson three-pointer, and a pair of free throws as the Warriors shaved the deficit to 65-61 at the break. Eason, Martin and Smith totaled 35 points in the half. –

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