Warriors’ Stephen Curry visibly irate over Rockets star James Harden’s acting

Austin Rivers thinks he has the formula to stopping the Splash Bros

Austin Rivers thinks he has the formula to stopping the Splash Bros

The Warriors got an important win Wednesday evening, beating the Rockets 106-104 to both keep their spot atop the Western Conference and avoid a season sweep.

In short, Cousins was as dominant as he has been since before his injury, which he suffered in the final minute of a triple-double performance last January in which he helped the New Orleans Pelicans hand Houston its first loss when the Rockets' star trio - Paul, James Harden and Clint Capela - was all healthy. "Yeah. Nah, it's all right, man". "We done played them enough times where they know us, and we know them".

Nor was Houston coach Mike D'Antoni, saying, "Cousins will get what Cousins gets". "Sometimes you don't learn a lot when you win". Come postseason time, every team deemed a worthy challenger looks foolish with hindsight, bringing everyone back to the drawing board and praying for just a single competitor capable of just making things interesting.

It wasn't quite as bad as Game 7 of last year's Western Conference finals, but the Rockets' 3-point well ran dry again on Wednesday.

Golden State played without All-Star forward Kevin Durant (ankle), yet controlled the action for much of the first half before reasserting control with a series of offensive rebounds and second-chance baskets in the third quarter.

Steph Curry also came through with 25 points, including two clutch free throws with 8 seconds left after the Rockets threatened within a point, 104-103.

"Sometimes games like this can kind of wake you up", Houston guard Austin Rivers said.

"I think we all do, but at the end of the day it's a win or it's a loss", he said.

Harden sank the first to create the final margin, but missed the second only to have Iguodala chase down the rebound and tap the ball to unguarded Thompson, who tossed it in the air as the final horn sounded.

When Cousins settled for a one-year deal with Golden State, a lot of folks figured he could be a solution to the Rockets' switch-intensive defensive scheme that often baited the Warriors into relying on isolation instead of their typically handsome ball movement.

DeMarcus Cousins stepped up in Durant's absence, scoring 27 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out seven assists.

"We beat them four times or three times in the regular season ain't nobody going to remember in about a month", Chris Paul said.

Harden acknowledged that he does get a bit more amped up for games like the one on Wednesday night, but he agreed with Paul that it doesn't mean more than any other regular-season game. "Tonight was definitely a good learning lesson for us, and we will definitely learn from it".

The Warriors, 4-6 over their previous 10 games, snapped the Rockets' season-best, nine-game winning streak by striking an effective inside-out balance. Just as they have since last year's playoffs, the Warriors got up for the big game and reminded everyone just how good they can be - even without Durant.