Four days after avenging one of their six losses, the Warriors get another chance for revenge on an opponent that knocked them off last month.
This time, it’s the Rockets, who greet the Warriors Friday night at Toyota Center. After evening their season series with the Cavaliers on Monday, the Warriors will seek to do the same in Houston.
The Warriors (36-6) have won five in a row, averaging nearly 120 points per game behind a more aggressive Stephen Curry.
The Rockets (33-12) have been the surprise team of the league this season. Generally projected to win between 42 and 48 games, they are on pace to win 60.
Warriors by 5.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Klay Thompson vs. James Harden: In his first season as an officially designated point guard Harden has been playing at MVP level. He leads the league in assists and has been a top-3 scorer all season. Thompson’s defense is not as consistently solid as in previous seasons. He knows Harden well, dating back to their days as prep stars in Southern California and fully understands he’ll have to bring his best, while also getting help from his teammates.
Warriors: C/F David West (L thumb fracture) is listed as out.
Rockets: F Ryan Anderson (flu) is listed as questionable.
Warriors: 9-1. Rockets: 7-3.
The Rockets prevailed in the first meeting this season, 132-127 in double overtime, on Dec. 1, but the Warriors have won nine of the last 12 overall. The Warriors have won the last four meetings in Houston.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
THE FIREWORKS: The Warriors and Rockets rank 1-2 in points and also true-shooting percentage. Houston launches a league-high 40 3-pointers per game. The Warriors, at 30.6, are tied for fifth. If the clubs stay true to form, that’s 71 triples. Don’t go near the scoreboard unless you want to get burned.
THE GIVEAWAYS: Insofar as both teams tend to give it up -- only four teams commit more turnovers than these two -- they could offset each other here. Both fire threes in transition. The crucial element is live-ball turnovers, as a decided advantage goes to the team that exploits them best.
THE BENCHES: Over the last 10 games, Shaun Livingston is shooting 66 percent and Andre Iguodala is at 63.6. They will need to continue their offensive efficiency to overcome the loss of David West while also neutralizing Sixth Man of the Year leader Eric Gordon, who leads the league in 3-pointers.