Warriors look to prevent third loss to high-scoring Rockets

Warriors look to prevent third loss to high-scoring Rockets
March 8, 2013, 1:00 pm
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Houston (33-29) sits two games and one spot behind the Warriors (35-27) in the Western Conference standings. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Programming note: Warriors-Rockets coverage gets underway tonight at 7 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area.

Golden State’s first two games of its current seven-game home stand ended exactly how the team wanted -- with wins.

But considering the Kings and Raptors are a combined 35 games under .500, those results were expected. The fact that the Warriors struggled to pull out both games can be looked at under different lenses, but the consensus is there were several takeaways -- both good and bad.

Wins? Sure.

Reasons for optimism? Hardly.

“The disappointment is the better teams you’re not going to beat by not executing because we won’t be in the ballgame turning the basketball over,” coach Mark Jackson said.

Teams like Houston, for example, which comes to Oracle Arena Friday for the third meeting between the teams this year. The Rockets handled Golden State easily the first time, knocking down a NBA-record tying 23 threes en route to a 140-109 win, then added a 116-107 win a week later in Oakland.

Houston (33-29) sits two games and one spot behind the Warriors (35-27) in the Western Conference standings.

“It’s a big game for us,” Jackson said  “An opportunity to play against a very good team at home that’s in a battle as far as playoff position also.

“It’s a team that presents a lot of problems. They’re a high scoring team with a lot of weapons, we’re going to be challenged, but we’re excited. “

The Rockets rank No. 1 in the NBA in points per game (107.0) and are the only team in the NBA to have hit at least five threes in every game this year.

After Houston’s record-setting performance on Feb. 5, Jackson said the Warriors did not change their defensive approach in the next game.

“This is a team that scores. That’s who they are,” Jackson said. “They’re going to hit shots, they’re going to make plays and there are going to be some nights where they have it going. That was one of them.”

While Houston ranks seventh in the NBA in three-point percentage (37.0), it’s the Warriors that top the league at 39.4 percent. Wednesday was Klay Thompson’s turn to showcase how dangerous he is with a game-winning three with seven seconds left.

“I watch this guy every single day and this guy is a knockdown shooter in every sense of the term,” Jackson said. “When you pick guys, that have ever played this game, that had to shoot a wide open shot – he’s in the discussion. I have two guys in the discussion.”

The second being Stephen Curry, of course.

For the second time this year, Golden State will sport its short-sleeved yellow jerseys. The time came against San Antonio on Feb. 22, a 107-101 Warriors win.

“It was different, man. A different look,” Curry said of the jerseys. “Obviously it was our first time wearing the color yellow from top to bottom, and also just the sleeves. I don’t’ think it affected shooting percentages much at all, I don’t think we noticed it while we were out there.”