Programming note: Rockets-Warriors Game 2 coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
OAKLAND – Stephen Curry’s tender right ankle notwithstanding, the Warriors seek to take command of their first-round playoff series with Houston when the teams meet Monday night at Oracle Arena.
Will Curry join his teammates in the starting lineup Monday night at Oracle Arena? The Warriors say maybe, the Rockets say certainly.
Either way, the Warriors hope to repeat the result of their Game 1 victory and take will be trying to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The top-seeded Warriors are prepared to proceed without the reigning MVP, whose absence would place a higher premium on ball movement and hard cuts on offense to produce better shots.
The No. 8 seed Rockets hope to bounce back from a 26-point loss in Game 1 on Saturday and even the series before it moves to Houston for Game 3 on Thursday.
Warriors by 13.5.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Stephen Curry vs. Patrick Beverley: After an early altercation that resulted in double technical fouls, Curry posted a decision victory in Game 1. If Curry is able to play, don’t expect much to change. Beverley’s role is to crawl inside Curry’s head. And when he doesn’t get that far, he settles for getting under his skin.
Klay Thompson vs. James Harden: A well-executed game plan succeeded in Game 1. Harden, who lives at the foul line, did not shoot a single free throw. The Warriors would gladly accept a repeat performance, even though Harden outscored Thompson 17-16. That's neutralization.
Andrew Bogut vs. Dwight Howard: Howard’s acceptable numbers in Game 1 (14 points, 11 rebounds) were deceptive insofar as he also committed five turnovers ad missed seven of 11 free throws. Howard never owned the paint, and that’s a win for Bogut and supporting big men Festus Ezeli and Marreese Speights.
Warriors: G Stephen Curry (R ankle tweak) is listed as questionable. F Kevon Looney (R hip inflammation) is listed as out.
Rockets: F Sam Dekker (back tightness) is listed as out.
The Warriors posted a 104-78 win in Game 1 and have won 13 of the last 14 meetings, including a five-game victory in the 2015 Western Conference Finals.
“I don’t think what Beverley did was a surprise. I did think it was physical. That’s how he plays. In playoffs basketball, it lifts a notch. We’re happy to play that style. We can definitely to hold and bump and grab as well.” – Bogut, on the Game 1 physicality, highlighted by the Curry-Beverly skirmish