OAKLAND –- The Warriors rediscovered enough of their “A” game Thursday night to lay a 123-101 pasting on the Rockets, who brought their “C” team to Oracle Arena.
With James Harden, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, Ty Lawson and Jason Terry all bypassing the Bay Area trip to return to Houston, the Warriors essentially ran a scrimmage against anticipated backups and those seeking a job in the NBA.
Five Warriors scored in double figures, led by Steph Curry, who finished with 19 points, adding six assists. Klay Thompson put in 16, Brandon Rush and Marreese Speights each dropped in 12 and Festus Ezeli added 11.
All 16 Warriors that suited up played and they all scored.
The Warriors (2-2) looked more like themselves than in any of the previous two games. They were more defensively attentive, they moved the ball better and they were livelier overall.
Though the Warriors were once again outrebounded (55-43), they shot 56.6 percent while holding the Rockets to 36.5 percent.
Here is one way to look at their home preseason finale: The Warriors didn’t let the absence of Houston’s stars lull them to sleep. They said prior to the game that the opponent didn’t matter as much as finding themselves after back-to-back losses.
Here’s another: The Warriors were playing a squad composed mostly of players unlikely to spend the season with the Rockets or perhaps any other NBA team.
STANDOUT PERFORMER: Rush, starting in place of Harrison Barnes, performed at a level the Warriors have been hoping to see for more than a year. Coming off a dreadful season, the veteran wing’s conditioning appreciably better and so is his shot. The numbers: 4-of-8 from the floor (2-of-5 from deep) and 2-of-3 from the line.
Curry, Thompson and Green did what they often do, among them pretty much dominating various aspects of the game.
TURNING POINT: The Warriors led 34-25 after one quarter but opened the second quarter with a 14-5 run to blow out to a 48-30 lead with 7:59 left in the half.
The Rockets got no closer over the remainder of the game.
INJURY UPDATE: Warriors: F Harrison Barnes (R knee bone bruise) is listed as day-to-day but was held out as a precaution. F Kevon Looney (R hip surgery) is out.
Rockets: F Trevor Ariza, G James Harden, C Dwight Howard, G Ty Lawson and G Jason Terry did not travel with the team for reasons of rest and rehabilitation. F Donatas Motiejunas (low back pain) also did not travel. C Clint Capela (sore right shoulder) and G Marcus Thornton (right eye injury) did not play.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Warriors on Friday embark on a seven-day road trip to Southern California, beginning with a preseason matchup Saturday night against the Lakers in San Diego.