Coming off their first loss in three weeks, the Warriors will try to reestablish their road ruggedness when they face the Rockets on Saturday night at Toyota Center.
The Warriors (31-6 overall, 14-5 on the road) will be playing their fourth game in five nights, this one after coach Steve Kerr deliberately rested veterans Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala in Oklahoma City on Friday night.
The Rockets (28-12, 14-6 at home) will have All-Star center Dwight Howard in the lineup, the first time this season he has faced the Warriors.
Rockets by 2.5
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Klay Thompson/Andre Iguodala vs. James Harden. Warriors coach Steve Kerr will throw a variety of looks at Harden, but Thompson and Iguodala will be the primary defenders against the bearded wonder. Harden is nearly impossible to stop one-on-one, but some of that is offset by his lack of consistent defensive tenacity.
Andrew Bogut vs. Dwight Howard. The two centers have over the years become familiar with each other. Bogut on offense will try to initiate enough plays to pull Howard out of the key. Defensively, Bogut is dedicated to keeping Howard, who is battling a strained knee, from getting lobs and cheap baskets in the paint.
Stephen Curry vs. Patrick Beverley. Beverley takes tremendous pride in being one of the best point-guard pests in the league. He touches, he bumps, he clutches and he does all he can to get inside your head. Curry hates to play against him, but the battle lights his competitive fire.
KEYS TO VICTORY
1-Park on the arc. The Rockets average nearly 34 3-point shots per game, far and away tops in the league. Practically everybody except Howard is a threat from deep.
2-Bigs on the glass. The Rockets are top-five offensive rebounding team. They can demoralize opponents with second-chance shots, especially when dropping treys.
3-Make them pay. Only the abysmal 76ers commit more turnovers than Houston. The key for the Warriors is to exploit that and turn the giveaways into points.
Warriors 8-2. Rockets 7-3.
"We're going to play great; that's what I expect personally. Even though it's back-to-back, we’ll have Bogues and Andre back in the lineup. It's going to be a battle. They're playing real well. James (Harden) is playing at an MVP level and we haven't played them with Howard yet. So it's going to be a new challenge." – Warriors guard Klay Thompson
Warriors: C Festus Ezeli (sprained left ankle) is listed as out.
Rockets: C Dwight Howard (strained right knee) is listed as probable. F Terrence Jones (left leg nerve inflammation) is listed as out.
The Warriors have won the last three meetings, their first such streak over the Rockets since 2006-07, which also is the last time the Warriors won the season series. The Warriors are trying to go 2-0 in Houston for the first time since 1975-76.