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Warriors 126, Rockets 113

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OAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors emphatically completed their first season-series sweep of the Houston Rockets in 41 years, crushing one of the Western Conference’s top teams 126-113 Wednesday night in a game not nearly as close as the final score would indicate.

Shooting guard Klay Thompson scored 27 points, and the Warriors limited the Rockets to 42.5 percent shooting en route to their fourth straight win over Houston this season and their franchise-record 17th consecutive home victory.

The Warriors (34-6) thumped the Rockets by 11, 12, 25 and 13 — an average of 15.3 points per game — in recording their first 4-0 sweep of Houston since the 1973-74 season.

The Rockets (29-14) trailed by 20 at halftime and by as many as 30 in the third quarter of a frustrating night that saw reserve forward Josh Smith ejected for drawing two of the four technical fouls whistled on the visitors.

The game was tied at 36-all early in the second quarter and Golden State led just 42-39 with 7:26 remaining in the first half before going into the halftime break on a 20-3 run that opened a 62-42 lead. The Rockets missed 11 of their 12 shots in the stretch, during which Thompson scored 11 of his 18 first-half points.

The Rockets scored only 13 points in the second period, the second consecutive game in which the Warriors’ opponent totaled just 13 in the second period. Golden State also accomplished the feat in a 122-79 blowout of the Denver Nuggets on Monday.

Smith’s ejection came in the third period after arguing what he thought should have been a Warriors foul. His second technical foul quickly followed the first, leading to his disqualification.

Point guard Stephen Curry complemented backcourt mate Thompson with 22 points and 10 assists for the Warriors, who were playing for the second time on a five-game homestand. Power forward Draymond Green contributed 18 points to the win, which was Golden State’s 11th in 12 games and 26th by 10 or more points this season.

Backup forward David Lee had 10 rebounds and nine points, the last of which allowed him to top 10,000 for his career.

The Warriors hit half their shots in the game and 13 of their 29 3-point attempts.

Shooting guard James Harden, held to 12 points when the Warriors won 131-106 at Houston on Saturday, led the Rockets with 33 points. Fourteen of his points came on 16 free-throw attempts.

Reserve guards Corey Brewer (20) and Jason Terry (14) combined for 34 points for the Rockets, who were playing the opener of a three-game trip. Coming off a 110-98 home win over the Indiana Pacers on Monday, Houston has alternated wins and losses in its past six games.

It was a particularly frustrating night for Rockets center Dwight Howard, who was nailed with a technical foul and spent much of the game in foul trouble. He missed five of his eight shots and managed only seven points to go with 11 rebounds.

Howard’s counterpart, Warriors center Andrew Bogut, blocked five shots, three by Howard. Bogut also found time for nine points and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes.

NOTES: NBA All-Star Game starters, voted upon by the fans, will be announced Thursday night. Golden State G Stephen Curry is the only likely starter among Warriors and Rockets. … Warriors coach Steve Kerr insisted before the game he would not lobby for votes among Western Conference coaches for G Klay Thompson to be an All-Star reserve. “I sort of assume that he will be there,” he said. “You can’t have (just) one All-Star and be 33-6 — that’s impossible.” … Rockets coach Kevin McHale admitted he will take a different approach in trying to help G James Harden and C Dwight Howard earn reserve spots on the West team, declaring, “Everyone does a little bit of campaigning.” … The Warriors began the day with 30 or more assists in 16 games. The San Antonio Spurs led the league last season with 16 such games. … Rockets F Terrence Jones, out since early November with nerve damage in his left leg, made the three-game trip with the club but didn’t play Wednesday.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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