The Warriors raced out to a big lead early, and then had to hang on for a 113-106 victory over the relentless Rockets on Tuesday night at Toyota Center in Houston.
Stephen Curry, with 32 points, and Klay Thompson, with 25, led the offensive charge. Draymond Green put in 19 points and Andre Iguodala came off the bench to add 12.
Though the Warriors led by as much as 22 in the first half, Houston kept coming. It was ferocious defense that allowed the Warriors to prevail, as they held the Rockets to 38.8-percent shooting, including 16.1 percent from 3-point distance.
The victory was the 200th of Steve Kerr’s coaching career, making him the fastest coach to reach that milestone. He is 200-38 as Warriors coach.
The Warriors (60-14) overcome a 39-16 disparity in free throw attempts to reach the 60-win mark for the third consecutive season for the first time in franchise history.
James Harden posted his 20th triple-double of the season, with 24 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to earn the victory for the Rockets (51-23).
Even though Curry didn’t have a particularly good shooting night by his standards, at least in the early going, he came on strong late and checked a lot of boxes needed for the win.
Curry’s line: 32 points (11-of-22 shooting from the field, 3-11 from beyond the arc, 7-of-10 from the line), team-high 10 rebounds, team-high seven assists and two steals. He played 33 minutes and finished plus-9 for the game.
After Houston pulled within three, 76-73, on two free throws by Nene with 5:06 left in the third quarter, the Warriors closed the quarter with a 10-2 to take an 86-75 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Rockets got as close as five in the fourth quarter before the Warriors finished it.
Warriors: C/F James Michael McAdoo (L eyebrow laceration) left in the first quarter and did not return. F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, bone bruise) was listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.
Rockets: F Ryan Anderson (R ankle sprain) was listed as out.
The Warriors traveled to San Antonio immediately after the game and will face the Spurs on Wednesday night at AT&T Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:35 Pacific.