Golden State Warriors take a 2-0 lead after holding off the Houston Rockets 115-106.
Klay Thompson led the warriors scoring 34 points and dished out five assists for the defending champions, playing without the NBA MVP Steph Curry because of an injured right ankle. Curry cut short his pregame warmup routine after appearing to be in discomfort as he was shooting while putting little pressure on the tender ankle.
Andre Iguodala, last year’s Finals MVP, added 18 points with four 3-pointers and Draymond Green had 12 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists.
James Harden had 28 points and 11 assists to lead the Rockets. He made 13 of 15 free throws after not attempting one in the opener.
Big man Marreese Speights hit a key momentum 3-pointer from the baseline with 8.2 seconds remaining in the third quarter to make it 86-79, and the deep, versatile Warriors showed they can win without Curry on the playoff stage just as everybody on the roster believed.
Shaun Livingston, who left Sunday’s practice with an illness, had 16 points and six assists playing in Curry’s place.
After a 26-point victory in Game 1, the Warriors had to work a little harder in Game 2.
Dwight Howard’s dunk of an alley-oop pass with 6:54 left in the third pulled the Rockets within 71-67, but Golden State kept answering with big baskets.
“There’s a smaller margin for error,” Kerr said of a lineup without Curry.