HOUSTON — Warriors coach Mark Jackson pumped his fist when center Andrew Bogut tapped away the rebound as the horn sounded. It was the perfect punctuation to one of the best first-half performances of the season.
The Warriors head into the locker room up 54-31. And they’re doing it with suffocating defense, holding Houston to 9 of 46 shooting (19.6 percent) with eight turnovers. And they’re doing it against a team that owned them the first three meetings, tying an NBA record with 23 3-pointers the last time they were here. And they’re doing it in a game they really need, as the Rockets are just a half game back.
After getting blown out at home Friday by Chicago, the Warriors were pointing to this matchup as a statement game. And they are indeed making one.
The Rockets missed 20 of their first 23 shots, totaling just 10 points in the fourth quarter. They didn’t fare much better in the second quarter, making 6 of 23 from the field. Golden State held the Rockets without a bucket for four minutes straight.
Houston is 2 of 16 from 3-point range.
Andrew Bogut has been a force in the middle. He’s got eight rebounds and three blocks in 20:31 of action. And that doesn’t begin to illustrate his impact.
Guard Klay Thompson is holding James Harden in check. He’s 2 of 7 from the field, getting six of his 11 points from the free throw line. Rockets forward Chandler Parsons, a Warriors killer, is 0-for-5..