The Warriors finally won a road game. For the first time since January 30, they avoided a loss away from San Francisco.
Avoiding a loss rather than securing a win feels like an appropriate way to put it. For most of Monday night’s 121-108 win, they hung around with the now 18-54 Houston Rockets.
To the Rockets’ credit, they’ve won at home against the Celtics, Lakers and Pelicans over the last two weeks. But they did little to impress on Monday and still hung around with Golden State.
Draymond Green and Steve Kerr acknowledged their woeful start to the game and didn’t seem all that impressed with the performance.
“Our focus level was pathetic to start the game,” Green said. “We’re coming into the game like this and you know it’s a young athletic team, they’re gonna be in passing lanes and we were really careless with the ball.”
Kerr thought the defensive performance by Green, Jonathan Kuminga and Anthony Lamb prompted the Warriors to buckle down and take the lead.
Stephen Curry’s performance took that slim lead and pushed it into double digits, but it’s that wing-led defensive effort that will give the Warriors a consistent chance on the road.
Green made clear there’s a long way to go for a team that is now just 8-29 on the road.
“I don’t really necessarily view it as getting over a hump,” Green said. “We won one game. We need to go win the next one.”
Kerr said the performances in the Warriors’ last three losses on the road to the Grizzlies, Hawks and Clippers offered more to be encouraged about.
“I actually felt like we played decently in the first three games of this trip,” Kerr said. “Lost all three but had our chances in all three and I liked our effort. I liked a lot of the execution. Ironically, I thought this was the worst of the four games that we’ve played on this trip. But obviously, you know we were playing different caliber teams.”
Golden State will finish up its road trip with a Wednesday matchup vs. the seventh-seeded Dallas Mavericks before heading home for a rough matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Warriors, at 37-36 and in the sixth, hold a half-game lead over Dallas in a spot that, as it stands, would keep Golden State out of the play-in. With nine games remaining, each matchup grows in significance.