Thursday night in the NBA was a pure West Conference ordeal, with the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets clashing while missing Kevin Durant and James Harden, while the Los Angeles Clippers hosted the triple threat of Anthony-George-Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Golden State Warriors 124 Houston Rockets 114: While this game could have told us a bit more about the potential Western conference final, with Harden and Durant sitting out, we simply got an opportunity to see the ’15 version of the Warriors beat Chris Paul and his minions. With the win, the Warriors open a 3-game lead over the Rockets at the top of the West, and the voices suggesting Houston can topple the regime aren’t that loud anymore. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were at their finest, combining for 57 points and 10 three pointers, while Draymond Green notched a triple double with 17 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists. Eric Gordon scored 30, Gerald Green 29 and Chris Paul finished with 28, but the Rockets shot just 59.1% from the line and when you shoot 50 3’s, you better hit more than 17 of them.
Oklahoma City Thunder 127 Los Angeles Clippers 117: While their former star lost at home to the Warriors, the current Clippers lost at home by 10 points to the Thunder. The Thunder’s big three finished with 82 points, including 31 from Paul George and a Russell Westbrook triple double, as he turned the ball over 6 times and took 24 shots. Milos Teodosic lasted only 9 minutes before another injury sent him to the bench. The Clippers, falling to 3 games below .500, were led by Lou Williams (still not traded, as you can see) and DeAndre Jordan with 26 points each, while Blake Griffin added 24. But the team shot poorly from all ranges (30% from beyond the arc), showing the current gulf between them and the stronger teams out West.
Western Conference Standings
|1||Golden State Warriors *||31||8||.795||–||39|
|2||Houston Rockets *||27||10||.730||3.0||37|
|3||San Antonio Spurs||26||13||.667||4.5||39|
|4||Minnesota Timberwolves *||24||15||.615||6.5||39|
|5||Oklahoma City Thunder||22||17||.564||9.0||39|
|7||Portland Trail Blazers||19||18||.514||10.5||37|
|8||New Orleans Pelicans||19||18||.514||10.5||37|
|9||Los Angeles Clippers||17||20||.459||13.0||36|
|15||Los Angeles Lakers||11||26||.297||18.5||37|