Tuesday night marked the beginning of the 2017-18 National Basketball Association season.
Head coach Mike D'Antoni kept Paul on the bench down the stretch due to a sore knee. There's little reason to risk Paul's health on the second night of a back-to-back, especially against a Kings team the Rockets should be able to beat-with or without Paul.
A driving hoop by James Harden, the game's leading scorer with 27 points, made it a one-point game with 1:32 to play, setting up Tucker's difference-making free throws. Trevor Ariza sunk a three-pointer with 2:09 remaining in regulation to bring the Rockets with one point at 119-118.
Asked if he would play, Paul said, "I don't know". After a jumper from Golden State's Patrick McCaw, Houston scored on a layup from Harden and later free throws from Tucker to put Houston in the lead at 122-121 with under 45 seconds left. There's 36 princess blue sapphires to represent the number of Warriors' home wins last season, while the 31 white trapezoid diamonds represent the team's away wins. They had a chance to win but Curry missed a three-pointer with five seconds left.
"He was our best player tonight", Kerr said.
Entering play, the Rockets had fallen to the Warriors in 19 of 24 games since the start of the 2013-14 season (including eight losses in 10 tries during the postseason). "We were able to do both".
Nick Young had a team-high 23 points, including 20 in the first half, in his Warriors debut. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year finished 9-of-16 from the field, but missed all six of his 3-point attempts which was a rare sight - he hit 3.3 triples per game last season. Durant had 20 points, but also eight turnovers.
The Warriors marked the new season by handing out their championship rings and raising their 2016-17 championship banner. The game was officiated by two referees for the final 8:56 after Tre Maddox sustained an injury to his right side in a collision with Warriors PF David West. Maddox had to be helped to the locker room. The Warriors played without SF Andre Iguodala, who strained his back in a weight-training session.