Warriors halt 11-game road skid, 2nd longest by defending champ

ByAndrew Lopez ESPN logo
Tuesday, March 21, 2023

HOUSTON -- Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he couldn't even remember the last time his team won a road game before Monday night.

When told it was Jan. 30, Kerr briefly paused.

"Thanks, that doesn't make me feel any better," he said.

Golden State snapped an 11-game road losing streak with a 121-108 win over the Houston Rocketson Monday. That was the Warriors' longest road losing streak under Kerr, and the second longest by a defending NBA champion, trailing only the 1998-99 Chicago Bulls, who lost 12 in a row away from home.

Warriors guard Stephen Curry said it felt good to pick up the win, but there were no celebrations after the game.

"It's one of those feelings that you do what you're supposed to do," Curry said. "Just to walk off the court with a couple more smiles on our faces and something to show for it. We know we have to play better."

It was just Golden State's eighth road victory of the season. Only the Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons have fewer.

The Rockets are in last place in the Western Conference, but in the past week had picked up wins over the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans.

Curry and Klay Thompson did most of the heavy lifting on the offensive end for Golden State. Curry finished with 30 points while Thompson had 29. Both players knocked down five 3-pointers. It was the 44th time Curry and Thompson have made at least five 3s each in the same game, the most by any duo all-time. The Warriors improved to 39-5 in those games.

Despite the win, there's still more work to be done, according to Warriors forward Draymond Green.

"It's good to get a win," Green said. "I don't really necessarily see it as getting over the hump. We won one game. Need to go win the next one."

Still, Golden State ran its winning streak against the Rockets to 10 games, with Houston becoming the first team the Warriors have defeated twice on the road this season.

The 108 points allowed by the Warriors against Houston was the fewest they had allowed in any road game this season. Entering the night, Golden State was giving up a league-worst 124.5 points in road games.

According to ESPN Stats & Information research,the Warriors' 36-game streak of allowing at least 110 points on the road was the fourth longest in NBA history.

The Warriors took a five-point lead into halftime, but it was a mistake-ridden half that featured 14 turnovers. Kerr said it felt like 20 turnovers because of the team's lack of focus.

"Our focus level was pathetic in the first half," Green said. "It's a young, athletic team. They're going to be in passing lanes and we were real careless with the ball. We were able to lock in. Coach challenged us coming out of half."

This was the fourth of a five-game road trip for the Warriors, and Kerr said he actually felt the team played better in the first three games -- at the LA Clippers, Atlanta Hawks and Memphis Grizzlies-- despite not coming away with any wins.

"We were playing a different caliber of team, those first three are battling with all those teams for the playoffs," Kerr said. "Houston has had a rough season but they are playing better as of late and they've had some really good wins. So I thought we had to come in tonight with a focus that unfortunately wasn't there ... that was the issue with the first half. But we eventually got there."

The victory, coupled with the Dallas Mavericks' loss to the Grizzlies on Monday, slid the Warriors back into sixth in the Western Conference. Golden State is a half-game up on Dallas while sitting 1 games back of the fifth-place Clippers.

The fifth and final game of this Warriors road trip? Wednesday against those Mavericks.

"As a competitor, you relish in the moments of the most important games, and we're coming down to the homestretch and every game is vital for our playoff stakes, it's exciting times," Thompson said. "The postseason, there's nothing like it. These last seven or eight games will be a great warmup for the most competitive basketball out there."

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