HOUSTON—Stephen Curry sat on the bench with his head in his hands—facing another injury that could derail Golden State’s playoff run.
The Warriors felt bad for the reigning MVP but instead of sulking about their misfortune, they responded with a huge third quarter to pull away from the Houston Rockets and cruise to a 121-94 victory yesterday that gave them a 3-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.
“When you have a team that is as together as ours is, and cares about each other like ours does, you tend to pick up the fight a little bit,” noted coach Steve Kerr.
“Our guys sensed that we needed to come together.”
Soon after half of the vaunted “Splash Brothers” dejectedly limped to the locker-room, the other one kept the three-pointers raining down.
Klay Thompson made four of his seven 3s in the third as the Warriors made a franchise playoff-record eight in that quarter en route to an NBA playoff-record 21.
“Let’s not fool ourselves. When you hit the shots we’re hitting, things are going to go your way,” said Draymond Green.
James Harden was disgusted with Houston’s play in the third quarter.
“Terrible way, terrible way, terrible way to lose . . . just a terrible quarter and that’s what gave the game away,” he said.
Curry returned after missing two games with a sprained right ankle, but did not play in the second half after spraining his right knee on the final play of the second quarter.
He was to have an MRI today.
Golden State used a 41-point third quarter to take control of the game.
The Warriors host Game 5 on Wednesday.
“I was trying to raise our level of intensity,” said Thompson, who finished with 23 points.
“When you play with emotion and play for your teammates, you can really get going,” he noted.
“If we have that same emotion and intensity on Wednesday, we should be successful.”
“When the moment called for us to raise our intensity level, we dropped our guard,” noted Rockets’ coach J.B. Bickerstaff.
“When their guy went down, you could see the intent in their guys’ eyes,” he noted.
“The moment we needed to match their intensity, we didn’t do it.”
Elsewhere, Cleveland edged Detroit 100-98 and San Antonio beat Memphis 116-95 to sweep their respective series 4-0.
Boston downed Atlanta 104-95 (OT) to even that eries at 2-2.