Post Up: In Rhythm

Warriors 124 (31-8), Rockets 114 (27-10)

With both teams missing top guys — KD for the Dubs and James Harden for Houston — the meeting of the top teams in the West was without a little starpower, but still ended up being exciting and close throughout.

Almost all of the Rockets’ scoring came from Eric Gordon (30 points, 7 assists), Gerald Green (29 points) and CP3 (28 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists) while the Warriors relied on the usual combo of Klay and Steph (57 total points and 10 total threes) to stick around until the fourth when they made their big push.

Houston missed Beard’s playmaking ability down the stretch when the threes stopped falling, but Green — signed just a week ago — did his best to keep the Rockets in range with another huge performance. Then, shortly after the game, Houston guaranteed Green’s deal for the rest of the season. He’d rather have gotten the W but securing the bag isn’t a bad consolation prize.

Thunder 127 (22-17), Clippers 117 (17-20)

Looks as if OKC will be just fine. After close home losses to Milwaukee and Dallas, the Thunder bounced back with convincing wins over the Lakers and Clippers on consecutive nights at Staples Center. In front of his parents, Paul George dropped a game-high 31 points while fellow LA native Russell Westbrook posted his league-leading 13th triple-double. Melo, whose shot is starting to return to form, scored an efficient 22 on 12 shots.

The Clippers led for some of the game thanks to big nights from Blake Griffin (24 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists), DeAndre Jordan (26 points, 17 rebounds) and Lou Williams (26 points, 10 assists) but struggled from deep as a team and allowed OKC to shoot nearly 55 percent from the field. They just ran out of gas down the stretch.

It was actually the Thunder bench that made the difference in the game, as Billy Donovan’s reserves began the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run that swung the momentum fully toward the visitors. OKC’s Big Three took over from there.

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