OAKLAND (AP) — Stephen Curry got involved in a rare altercation before finishing with 22 points and 10 assists, and the Golden State Warriors held off the Houston Rockets 126-113 on Wednesday night for their franchise-record 17th straight home win.
The typically mild-mannered Curry ran at Trevor Ariza after the Rockets forward bumped him on the way down court early in the third quarter. Curry had to be held back by teammates, and officials called a technical foul on Ariza following a video review.
The Warriors had already grabbed control by outscoring Houston 30-13 in the second quarter. They led by 30 in the third before the Rockets’ reserves made the final margin closer.
Golden State swept the four-game season series against the Rockets for the first time since 1973-74. All four wins came by at least 10 points.
James Harden had 33 points and six assists for Houston. Dwight Howard spent most of the game in foul trouble, finishing with seven points and 11 rebounds.
The Warriors (34-6) harassed Howard and Harden inside and out — with Andrew Bogut and Draymond Green playing the role of lead antagonists — and the frustration of another blowout loss to the NBA’s best team finally boiled over for the Rockets.
Houston (29-14) had four of the game’s five technical fouls. That included two against forward Josh Smith, who was ejected for arguing with an official.
But the sequence that will be remembered most came with the Warriors leading 72-49 early in the third quarter.
Curry, apparently fed up with constant grabbing and pulling, got a technical foul while jostling for position with Patrick Beverley. Curry was called for an offensive foul on the next play, and as he stood near center court, Ariza bumped him on his way down to the other end — and Curry took issue with it.
The point guard yelled at Ariza as he ran toward him and had to be restrained by teammates. Officials halted play, reviewed what happened and called a technical foul on Ariza.
The emotional display briefly delayed Golden State’s latest highlight show filled with dazzling dunks, emphatic alley-oops and — of course — acrobatic shots from Curry.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 27 points, and Bogut grabbed 10 rebounds, scored nine points and tied a season high with five blocks. Green added 18 points and six boards.
The game started fast and physical — and the Warriors kept it there.
In the opening minutes, Howard got called for a technical foul for shoving Green after a made basket. Bogut also blocked Howard twice during one play, bringing the building to a fever pitch.
Harden almost single-handedly kept Houston close. He had 13 points and five assists in the first quarter, powering an 8-0 burst that sliced Golden State’s advantage to 32-29.
But the Warriors kept coming in waves, kept pushing the pace and kept bruising and bullying Howard inside and getting him in foul trouble. They led 62-42 at the half.
Rockets: Houston lost by 11, 12 and 25 points to the Warriors previously this season. ... Corey Brewer scored 20 points, most of them with the outcome already decided.
Warriors: The Warriors’ previous best home-winning streak was 16, last accomplished in 1959 — when the team still played in Philadelphia. They are 19-1 at Oracle Arena this season. ... David Lee scored nine points to reach 10,000 for his career.
Rockets: At Phoenix on Friday.
Warriors: Host Sacramento on Friday.