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Game Preview: Warriors at Rockets – 11/6/19

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TAKING OFF TO HOUSTON
After claiming their first home win at Chase Center, the Warriors hit the road again for a three-game road trip that starts with a Wednesday evening matchup against the Houston Rockets. This will be the squads’ first of four meetings this season, and their first encounter since the 2019 Western Conference Semifinals which the Warriors won 4-2. Last year, however, has no relevance to this matchup, as both teams feature different lineups than previous Warriors-Rockets showdowns. The Dubs have been limited to a nine-man rotation with three rookies in the starting lineup the previous two games due to numerous injuries, while the Rockets made the blockbuster summer trade to acquire eight-time All-Star guard Russell Westbrook in the deal that sent Chris Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

LAST TIME OUT
Led by Eric Paschall’s birthday performance of 34 points and 13 rebounds, the Dubs notched their first victory at Chase Center with a 127-118 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. Full Recap

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

GSW HOU
2-5 4-3
12th in West 8th in West
PTS: 111.7 (15th) PTS: 119.3 (3rd)
REB: 44.4 (20th) REB: 45.0 (17th)
AST: 25.9 (6th) AST: 23.9 (15th)

LAST GAME’S STARTERS
GSW: Ky Bowman, Jordan Poole, Glen Robinson III, Eric Paschall and Willie Cauley-Stein
HOU: James Harden, Eric Gordon, PJ Tucker, Danuel House and Clint Capela

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: Jacob Evans (left abductor strain), Draymond Green (sprained left index finger) and D’Angelo Russell (right ankle sprain) are questionable. Stephen Curry (left hand fracture), Kevon Looney (neuropathy), Alen Smailagić (right ankle sprain) and Klay Thompson (left ACL rehab) are out. Team Notes
HOU: Eric Gordon (hamstring), Nene (hip) are quesitonable. Gerald Green (foot surgery) is out. Team Notes

RUNS IN THE FAMILY
Though the Warriors remain without their All-Star guard Stephen Curry, who broke his left, non-shooting hand last Wednesday against Phoenix, the team has been able to turn to someone in the family to carry a portion of the scoring load: his brother-in-law Damion Lee. In the three games since Curry has been out, Lee has stepped into the rotation and average 27.1 minutes over the last three games. Yet Lee is not just filling-in, but rather contributing across the board for the Dubs in his brother-in-law’s absence. Lee has averaged 15.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.0 steals in the last three games. Though not shooting as many three-pointers as Curry, Lee has been just as consistent from beyond the arc: 1.7 treys on 56 percent shooting. During Paschall’s scoring outburst Monday against Portland, Lee led all Dubs reserves with 18 points in 29 minutes off the bench.

TEAM LEADERS

GSW HOU
PTS: Paschall (16.7) PTS: Harden (36.6)
REB: Robinson (5.9) REB: Westbrook (9.8)
AST: Bowman (2.3) AST: Westbrook (9.2)

HOUSTON SCOUTING REPORT
The Rockets currently rank third in the league in points per game with 119.3, with over 48 percent of that coming from their All-Star backcourt duo of James Harden (36.6 points) and Russell Westbrook (21.2). Besides their scoring, the two of them bring other skills and abilities to the court as well: Harden continues to lure his defenders into fouls at a career-high rate of 16.1 free throw attempts per game to go with 5.1 rebounds and 7.4 assists, while Westbrook is currently in his fourth season of averaging nearly a triple-double per game at 9.8 rebounds and 9.2 assists. At the center position is Clint Capela, now in his sixth year with the team, who thus far is averaging 12.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, and a team-leading 1.4 blocks per game. Also helping on the defensive end is fourth-year player Danuel House who has posted 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks to go with 12.6 points per game, all career highs. The Rockets are second in the league in pace and are in the top three of shots attempted — field goals, three-pointers, and free throws — as the team’s focus is to push the ball up-court and find a way to score quickly.

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