Playing without injured Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors snapped Houston's nine-game win streak and avoided being swept this season by the Rockets with a 106-104 road victory yesterday.
Klay Thompson scored a game-high 30 points while DeMarcus Cousins netted a season-high 27 points plus team-highs of eight rebounds and seven assists and Stephen Curry contributed 24 points in a crucial victory for the defending champions.
"When Kevin is out, we don't have the luxury of throwing to him and getting 30 points," Thompson said. "We had to throw it to 'Boogie' (Cousins) in the post and he came through for us in a big way. He propelled us to a victory tonight."
Durant, a two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, was sidelined by a right ankle sprain suffered in a Sunday loss to Phoenix.
But the Warriors, a Western Conference-best 46-21, bounced back behind 3-point sharpshooter Thompson, who hit 12-of-23 from the floor including 5-of-10 from beyond the arc.
"Whether Kevin is out here or not, I play the same way," Thompson said. "I try to keep moving and being a force."
Cousins, signed as an injured free agent in July, has had to blend with the Warriors powerhouse lineup since returning in January from a ruptured Achilles tendon.
NBA scoring leader James Harden netted 29 points and added 10 assists to lead the Rockets (42-26), who also got 24 points from Chris Paul and 13 points and 13 rebounds from Clint Capela.
Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook unleashed his 26th triple double of the season and led a second-half surge that lifted the Oklahoma City Thunder over visiting Brooklyn ,108-96.
Westbrook finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists and three steals while the Thunder's Paul George and Brooklyn's Spencer Dinwiddie each added 25 points.
Elsewhere, Justise Winslow scored 16 points to lead seven double-figure scorers for Miami in a 108-74 rout of visiting Detroit.
The Pistons, led by 13 points from Blake Griffin, were outscored 33-8 in the third quarter, the Heat opening the second half with a 21-0 run.
Miami improved to 32-35, tightening the Heat's grip on the eighth and last Eastern Conference playoff berth to two games over Orlando and Charlotte with Washington 3.5 adrift.
Bradley Beal scored 23 points and Thomas Bryant came off the bench to add 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Washington Wizards beat visiting Orlando, 100-90.
Atlanta's John Collins scored 27 points to lead the Hawks over visiting Memphis 132-111 while Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points to lead Utah's 114-97 victory at Phoenix.*AFP
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