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Preview: Rockets (54-28) at Warriors (51-31)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: December 13, 2013 10:30 PM EDT
  

The Golden State Warriors have developed a trend of slow starts, though their explosive offense has bailed them out late.

That wasn't the case against the Houston Rockets, who bottled them up in a lopsided result last week.

Golden State will look for a quicker start Friday night when it tries to avenge its worst loss of the season against Houston.

The Warriors (13-10) have been outscored by an average of 11.6 points in the first halves of their last five games, scoring just 43.8 per contest in the first two quarters. However, they're 3-2 in that span, including Wednesday's 95-93 home win over Dallas. They trailed by as many as 18 late in the second quarter before Steph Curry took over late. He scored 16 of his 33 points in the final period, including the go-ahead jumper with three seconds remaining.

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"He's a great player and an all-time great shooter," coach Mark Jackson said of Curry, who also had 10 assists. "I've seen Steph Curry every single day take that shot hundreds and hundreds of times, thousands of times, so when the curtains open up you expect it to go in."

Golden State, which is 7-2 at home, hasn't always been able to recover from its early deficits, however. The Warriors trailed 61-37 at halftime of their 105-83 defeat at Houston on Dec. 6, their 18th loss in the last 21 meetings.

Jackson's club shot a season-low 35.5 percent from the field while the Rockets blocked nine shots and had a season-high 14 steals. Curry scored 22 but was 5 of 14 from the field and accounted for eight of his team's 22 turnovers.

"We have to stop," forward Draymond Green said. "We can't continue to get behind like that and continue to try and come back and win."

The Rockets (15-8) won't be fresh after dropping their second straight road game, 111-104 in Portland on Thursday. However, they're 4-1 on the second night of back-to-backs this season.

They were without coach Kevin McHale, who has left the team to mourn the death of his mother after she passed away on Tuesday. Assistant Kelvin Sampson will guide the team for the second straight game.

Dwight Howard finished with 32 points - one shy of his season high - and 17 rebounds, but Houston gave up a 52-48 rebounding advantage and allowed 15 offensive rebounds for the second straight contest. It marked just the fifth time the Rockets - who own the league's best rebounding margin at plus-6.3 - have been outrebounded.

"They made some big plays down the stretch," Howard said. "It seemed like every time we would close the gap, they came down and got a great shot. This was big for them."

Houston's second-leading rebounder, Omer Asik (6.8 rpg), missed his fourth straight contest with a bruised right thigh.

James Harden, who scored 34 points on 13-of-22 shooting in last week's win, is averaging 28.0 points over his last six contests. Howard had 22 points and 18 rebounds against the Warriors.

Andre Iguodala is expected to miss his 11th straight game for Golden State due to a strained left hamstring. Jermaine O'Neal is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist Friday that may be season-ending.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 HOU  +140   +3.5   213.5 
 GSW  -160   -3.5   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 HOU  +130   +3.5   214 
 GSW  -150   -3.5   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 HOU  55%   45%   76% 
 GSW  45%   55%   24% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NBA HEAD TO HEAD
 Dec 6, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 GSW 83 Under: 188 
 HOU 105 Cover: 17 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Mar 17, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 GSW 108 Cover: 37.5 
 HOU 78 Under: 186 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Mar 8, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 HOU 94 Cover: 8 
 GSW 88 Under: 182 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Feb 12, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 HOU 116 Cover: 13.5 
 GSW 107 Over: 223 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Feb 5, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 GSW 109 Over: 249 
 HOU 140 Cover: 28.5 
 Tools:   Recaps

 NBA PREVIEWS
 Friday, Dec 13
 
    Cavaliers at Magic
7:05 PM EDT
    Bobcats at Pacers
7:05 PM EDT
    76ers at Raptors
7:05 PM EDT
    Knicks at Celtics
7:35 PM EDT
    Wizards at Hawks
7:35 PM EDT
    Nets at Pistons
7:35 PM EDT
    Grizzlies at Pelicans
8:05 PM EDT
    Lakers at Thunder
8:05 PM EDT
    Bulls at Bucks
8:35 PM EDT
    Timberwolves at Spurs
8:35 PM EDT
    Jazz at Nuggets
9:05 PM EDT
    Kings at Suns
9:05 PM EDT
    Rockets at Warriors
10:35 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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