(The Sports Xchange) - The Golden State Warriors built a big early lead and overcame an injury to point guard Stephen Curry to thump the Houston Rockets 104-78 in the opener of the Western Conference first-round series in Oakland, California on Saturday.
Curry, the league's leading scorer, had 24 points, including 16 in the first quarter, before twisting his right ankle in the second quarter of the Warriors' 40th win in 42 home dates this season.
The league's reigning Most Valuable Player went to the locker room for examination just before halftime and returned to play the first 2:47 of the third quarter before Warriors coach Steve Kerr abruptly called a timeout and took his star out of the game.
By that point, Golden State had built a commanding 65-39 lead.
Shortly thereafter, Curry was sent back to the locker room and did not return to the Warriors' bench until after the fourth quarter began.
He never re-entered the game, and left early to return to the locker room two minutes before the final horn.
(Editing by Andrew Both)