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- Plenty of folks will closely watch Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin, since this is the former Warrior’s first appearance in Oakland since exploding on the NBA scene little more than a year ago as a member of the New York Knicks. Rockets coach Kevin McHale said no player would get used to the kind of scrutiny the 24-year-old underwent — and still undergoes, to some extent, after re-joining Houston this summer as a free agent. “At certain points in your NBA career, like LeBron [James] is going through right now, you play on the ceiling,” McHale said. “You play at your max level. Jeremy happened to do that in New York for three weeks. And you don’t play on the ceiling all the time. If you do that, you’re called, ‘Michael Jordan.'”
- The other major storyline revolves around how the two teams go at things after a 140-109 win by Houston against Golden State a week ago grew contentious in the final minutes, with the Warriors deliberately fouling the Rockets to keep them from setting a new single-game NBA record for made 3-pointers. Golden State took umbrage with what they felt was excessive in-game celebrating from Houston, which is ironic given that the Warriors are often accused of the same thing. Golden State coach Mark Jackson brushed off such criticism, relating the story of a fan from one of the Warriors’ recent road stops, who complained via e-mail about the over-exuberant visitors: “They were upset because our bench was up and it messed up their view. I take that as a compliment. I have guys in games. You should send an e-mail to to your team, wondering why your team isn’t up and involved in the game.”
- The Rockets’ barrage was just the start of an 0-for-4 road trip for the Warriors, who gave up an average of 118.5 points per game while sliding to their longest losing streak of the season. “Four straight losses is a clear indication of [the fact that] we’re not the same team, defensively, and we’re not getting it done across the board,” Jackson said.
– Geoff Lepper