About Last Night: Rockets wax Warriors in clash of drama-filled teams

About Last Night: Rockets wax Warriors in clash of drama-filled teams

Kevin Durant didn’t want to hear it, so he made sure the question wouldn’t come up more than once.

“Don’t ask me about that again.”

“That” is the much-publicized on-court tiff between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, which resulted in the latter being suspended by the team for one game. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports that Green even challenged his superstar teammate to leave, and that the Warriors.

“We don’t need you. We won without you,” was the emotional forward’s verbal gauntlet.

Green and Durant were reunited on Thursday, and they appeared to have put the recent past behind them in the opening minutes.

 

Draymond Green connects with Kevin Durant for an early-game dunk.

Things fell apart quickly after that, however, with the Warriors toppling to the Rockets 107-86. Durant shot just 6 for 15, Green had as many turnovers as assists (five) and failed to score, and the Warriors simply looked shell-shocked.

Draymond Green looks on during the Warriors’ Thursday night loss to the Rockets.

 

It’d be foolish to not mention the absence of two-time Kia MVP Stephen Curry (groin). It would also be equally silly to dismiss the remaining two-time Finals MVP (Durant), former Kia Defensive Player of the Year (Green), and a historically great 3-point shooter (Klay Thompson).

It’s too early in the season — and too soon after the Green-Durant tiff — to tell whether the Warriors’ latest mini-drama will last. For Golden State, however, every day with their current dynastic makeup matters. Durant’s free agency inches closer. The ripple effects from it will be very real and very expensive, one way or another.

Will a November confrontation matter? Don’t ask Durant.

 

No ‘Melo, More Defense

The Carmelo Anthony experiment came to a very abrupt end in Houston with the Rockets parting ways with the 10-time All-Star after just 13 games. Now they will rely on other means to replace the presence of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, both of whom defected during the offseason.

Night one of that adjustment went pretty well.

The Rockets entered Thursday as a bottom-half team on defense. Then they held the Warriors to just 42.1 percent shooting, including a frigid 4-for-18 from 3-point range.

Just as telling was who picked up the 30 nightly minutes that are now available with Anthony out of the picture.