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Rockets, Warriors Meet In Heavyweight Showdown Out West

The Warriors and Rockets meet Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors and Rockets meet Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.

Western Conference contenders collide Wednesday night as the Golden State Warriors welcome the Houston Rockets to the Bay Area.

Tip-off at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET.

The showdown pits the league-leading Warriors against a Rockets side that continues to win despite being without its superstar center.

The Story So Far

Enjoying its best start in franchise history, Golden State (18-2, 7-1 home) enters Wednesday night’s game with a franchise-best 13 wins. The term “franchise-best” is something you should get used to.

Under first-year head coach Steve Kerr the Warriors have shocked the basketball world, emerging as a well-rounded unit and a genuine challenger for the NBA championship.

On Monday night, the Warriors saw off the Minnesota Timberwolves 102-86, picking up a league-best 18th win in the process. Once again the backcourt tandem of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson proved to be the catalyst behind the team’s success. The “Splash Brothers” combined for 42 points on 17-of-35 points.

Curry, Thompson and Co. will look to pick up another win on Wednesday, but doing so might be a hard task.

While the Warriors have been blowing the league away, Houston (16-4, 8-1 road) has respectably been overcoming adversity to climb into fourth-place in the Western Conference standings.

Despite significant injuries to Dwight Howard, Terrence Jones and Patrick Beverley, Kevin McHale’s side has found ways to win. The Rockets take to the hardwood in Oakland having won four straight and seven of the last eight.

Beverley returned from injury Saturday as the Rockets defeated the Phoenix Suns 100-95 in Houston. Coming off the bench, Beverley had 19 points, six rebounds and three assists in 27 minutes. In addition to his offensive contributions, Houston will be hoping he’s able to restrain Steph Curry on Wednesday.

Impact Players

Steph Curry is averaging 23.1 points, 7.7 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.95 steals per contest, making him one of the league’s best all-around threats. Meanwhile, Klay Thompson is averaging 21.2 points per game.

The Warriors are also getting strong outings from forwards Draymond Green (13.3ppg, 7.7rpg) and Marreese Speights (12.3ppg, 5.1rpg), while Andrew Bogut is pulling down 9.3 rebounds in 25.2 minutes.

Houston’s No. 1 go-to guy is, of course, James Harden. Like Curry, Harden is bothering the scorers’ table night in and night out. The guard is averaging 25.2 points, 6.6 assists, 6.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals per contest.

Dwight Howard is averaging 18.8 points and 11.3 rebounds per contest, but is currently sidelined. Trevor Ariza (14.2ppg, 6.1rpg) and Donatas Motiejunas (9.2ppg, 6.3rpg) have been picking up the slack in his absence.


Houston leads the all-time head-to-head series 118-82 and has won seven of the last 10.

The two sides split a four-game series a season ago.

The Warriors defeated the Rockets 98-87 when the two sides met on November 8, and have now won two straight in the season series.

After Wednesday’s game, the two sides will meet twice more this season; in Houston on January 17 and in Oakland on January 21.

Injury Report

Houston continues to be without All-Star center Dwight Howard (knee), who hasn’t seen action since November 17, a streak of nine straight games.

The Rockets are also without forwards Terrence Jones (leg) and Kosta Papanikolaou (knee), both out indefinitely.

Guards James Harden (back) and Isaiah Canaan (ankle) are both listed as day-to-day, as is forward Francisco Garcia (ankle).

Golden State forward David Lee (hamstring) remains absent from the lineup. Lee has made just one appearance this season.

Center Andrew Bogut (knee) is listed as day-to-day. He pulled down 18 rebounds against the Rockets last month.

After a prolonged injury, Patrick Beverley returned to action for the Rockets on Saturday.

After a prolonged injury, Patrick Beverley returned to action for the Rockets on Saturday.

Betting Report

With injuries affecting both sides, bookmakers had yet to release betting lines for Wednesday night’s West Coast clash.

Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors odds for 12/09/2014

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