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Warriors swing, miss

Warriors swing, miss The good news: rookie guard Stephen Curry lived up to the hype the preceded his NBA debut Wednesday night. He finished with 14 points, seven assists, four steals and two turnovers in 36 minutes.

The bad news: it wasn't enough to prevent the Warriors from dropping a winnable game, losing 108-107 to the Houston Rockets at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors also got 26 points and five assists from guard Monta Ellis.

But Houston, finishing off a back-to-back set, were too good from the outside. They knocked down 12 3-pointers and countless mid-range jumpers. Guard Trevor Ariza and forward Luis Scola combined for 46 points on 16-for-32 shooting.

Curry made a few mistakes down the stretch. But those late-game miscues proved to be a sour end to an otherwise impressive debut as Curry established himself as the best point guard on the team and a capable, though inexperienced, floor leader.

In the fourth quarter, Curry showed exactly why coach Don Nelson has such confidence in him. Down 90-81 early in the quarter, Curry began to leave his imprint on the game.

He nailed a 16-foot jumper, then slipped a pass to swingman Kelenna Azubuike for a transition dunk. At the 6:31 mark, he saved a crumbling possession by gathering a loose ball and nailing a pull-up jumper, cutting the Rockets' lead to 99-95.

The Warriors offense stalled again, and the Rockets rebuilt their lead. A jumper to beat the shot clock by Scola put the Warriors down 108-99 inside of three minutes.

The next two times down for the Warriors , Curry nailed back-to-back jumpers. The latter coming with 1:47 left and pulling the Warriors to within 108-103.

It was clear who Nelson trusted with the game on the line, as the ball was in Curry's hands. But Curry made a few plays that he would take back.

He forced a pass in the final minute that was intercepted. Then, with the Warriors down three, he rebounded Anthony Morrow's missed 3-point attempt and put it in instead of kicking the ball back out for a 3-pointer as the game clocked expired.

Early in the game, Curry looked like the floor general that Nelson has envisioned. He found Jackson for a lay-up on the Warriors' first possession. Then he came up with a steal on the Warriors' first defensive possession and nearly brought the house down on the ensuing fast break, but his 3-pointer in transition rimmed out. Moments later, he nailed a 19-foot step-back jumper for his first NBA basket.

Midway through the first quarter, Curry zipped a pass in the lane to center Andris Biedrins for a lay-up, picked the pocket of Rockets guard Aaron Brooks, then passed the ball up to Ellis for a dunk.

He played the entire first quarter, posting four assists and three steals.

But things got rougher as the game progressed for Curry. The Rockets applied more pressure and played him physical, which seemed to have an impact. He looked more indecisive.

He missed his next four shots, one an airball and one launched into the stands by Houston forward Carl Landry.

Curry was on the floor during the Warriors' run to close the first half. The Warriors trailed 50-48 with just over two minutes left in the half. Jackson nailed a 3-pointer to give the Warriors the lead again. After two Corey Maggette free throws, Jackson hit another 3-pointer.

Curry also found Morrow for an open jumper, putting Warriors ahead 58-52 with 29.9 seconds remaining, Curry's sixth assist of the half. Forward Anthony Randolph closed the half with a 28-foot heave at the buzzer, sending the Warriors into the locker room ahead 62-52.

Curry started the second half but was yanked three minutes in after having no impact. The Warriors wound up getting outscored 35-19 in the third period, squandering their lead. Brooks and Scola combined for 26 of the points as the Rockets made 15 of 21 field goals in the quarter.

The Warriors offense, conversely, deteriorated into one-on-one Basketball. They were 7 of 21 from the field with two assists in the quarter. Jackson and Ellis combined to go 3-for-12 shooting.Rockets 108, Warriors 107NEXT GAME: Friday, at Suns, 7 p.m.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 29, 2009


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