These Stephen Curry highlights prove he deserved the MVP title over James Harden. No Rocket in sight had an answer to elegant shooting by Stephen Curry. Highlights show him leading the Warriors past their Western Conference rivals, and on to their second regular season victory in two games. Meanwhile, the Rockets drop two games to start the regular season, their worst opening in five seasons.
Defenders had a hard time keeping track of Curry, whose game has improved with even quicker off-the-dribble three pointers and excellent drives to the basket. Even in traffic, Curry was too slippery for James Harden’s team. Curry scored 25, picked up six assists and seven rebounds while draining shots in the face of Houston fans’ hopes.
Where was James Harden? Stephen Curry left him with no recourse, as his shots just didn’t fall. The Rockets haven’t had an answer for the Warriors in six straight games. Playing against Golden State in the Conference Finals should have been an educational experience in how not to leave Steph Curry open for shots. But, from tip off they showed lazy defense and unfocused efforts, leading to a 112-92 Houston loss.
The Rockets home opener against the Denver Nuggets was, like this game, also a 20-point loss. Starting your season off that poorly is an embarrassment that hasn’t been seen since the Portland Trail Blazers in 1971.
Dwight Howard stood at the receiving end of a tremendous dunk by Harrison Barnes, which was probably the play of the game. Dwight claimed the Warriors took some time until they could work together with such synergy, and said the Rockets would get there eventually. During the preseason, the Rockets let injuries disrupt time they needed to synchronize their game.
And, the Warriors have Stephen Curry. James Harden and company know that’s already an unfair advantage. With losses like these, it will be hard to argue Harden’s MVP candidacy, as much as Houston fans might want to.
Warriors center Marreese Speights told ESPN that Golden State quickly entered beast mode after first half trash talk.
“They had a lot of hype at the beginning. They were talking a lot of trash out there. We came out, second half, and humbled them, and did what we do. Warriors basketball.”
After some early energy from James Harden and guard Corey Brewer, Rockets fans began to celebrate. Pumping the team up into thinking they had a chance to win. Draymond Green described the scene before the Warriors started to press down and deconstruct the Rockets defense to ESPN.
“I thought they were trying to make the game chippy early on. So [the message was] just keep our composure and continue to play our game. Don’t fall into ‘rah-rah’ stuff.”
Once the Warriors started to capitalize, the Stephen Curry highlights were on display, making every Rockets fan in the house fear the post season to come. With the help of Andre Iguodala, Golden State defense wasn’t kind to Harden. He only managed to make four field goals off of 18 attempts.
If the Rockets don’t want to again find themselves on the receiving end of another team’s season highlights, they need to find a way to tighten up execution when they face the Miami Heat tomorrow. The Heat beat the Charlotte Hornets in their season opener, but Dwyane Wade lost to ex-teammate LeBron James in the second game.
The Warriors next game will be tonight against the Utah Jazz. The Jazz lost to the Pistons, and then beat the 76ers in their first two games. They will have to be prepared unless this turns into another showing for the Stephen Curry highlights reel.
[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]