HOUSTON – Mike D & # 039; Houston Rockets manager Antoni was in a playful mood after his team extended their NBA-best winning streak to nine games on Monday, beating Charlotte Hornets by 118-106 behind a 28-point night James Harden.
As focus shifted to Wednesday's showdown against the Golden State Warriors, D & # 39; Antoni wasted little time delivering a Zinger.
Asked what he thought of Warrior Guard Stephen Curry, Oakland has the opportunity to send a statement "against the missiles after it had fallen to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday 115-111," D & # 39; Antoni hesitated not.
Devin Booker scored 13 straight Phoenix points during an important fourth quarter of an hour, ending at 37, and the Suns brought the NBA's longest active defeat in 18 games against an opponent by beating the Golden State Warriors 115 on Sunday. 111 defeated
"Yeah, they probably should have said it before the game" D & # 39; Antoni laughed, "I'm sure they'll do that. Why should not they? I would be surprised if they did not feel that way. They would make a statement. They would come out, they would play. You probably the obvious. If they did not say anything, they certainly think. You know how it is today. Everyone has something to say. I have something to say.
But if anyone looking for bulletin board material for the clash on Wednesday at the Toyota Center, they would not have found it in the locker room of the Rockets after winning the Monday against the Hornets.
Golden State has lost six of his last ten goals and has not won consecutive wins for nearly a month, while the Rockets set a record of 31 to 11 in December after starting the season with a record of 11 to 14.  Houston is also experiencing some of it reviving the defense, having held an average of 97.8 points in their last five games, after allowing 110 points or more in each of the six before, and the Rockets have the opponents in four consecutive games shot at less than 45 percent, a record of 44:19 last season with an opponent of less than 45 percent allows.
Harden quickly pointed to "our defense" when asked about the most positive aspect of the team's current winning streak.
"We've been guarding, and that helps us get off to an offensive and get points," he said.
What proved It was difficult to get Harden to play the hype about the match against the Warriors.
Houston has a record 3-0 win over Golden State this season.
"I do not know how they feel". Said Harden. "I'm just worried about what's in this locker room."
Point guard Chris Paul has also weathered the hype surrounding the Warriors.
"I do not know, we're trying to make a profit . " he said. "Everyone will say that it's a big game, or they say it's no, whatever it is, it does not really mean anything until the playoffs, if we beat them three times in the regular season, nobody will remember Month. "
When asked what Curry's statements about the warriors' attitude toward the missiles said, Paul again refused to bite.
"A good headline," Paul said. "Win or lose, it's a game, you do not stumble, I mean, probably not."
What is undeniable is that Houston sees a, albeit difficult, route to No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Houston is currently playing 3.5 games back from the first in the Western Conference standings with 15 remaining games.
"With all we've gone through, all the ups and downs, from 11-14 or whatever, we're in a good place and we still have the chance to attack the first place, "said D & # 39; Antoni. "It's pretty good every year in every scenario, even though we've been healthy all year, especially with teams like Denver, the way they play, and Golden State, that does not mean we're doing it, We need some help, but we just have to make sure we do our part, if that means that our part is the third, so be it, or fourth, it's, but if we get a bit Help, then we have a chance. "