LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Andrew Wiggins scored a season-high 36 points on Saturday as National Basketball Association champions Golden State Warriors got off to a hot start and made it hold up Saturday in a 120-101 victory over the Houston Rockets.
Wiggins drained a career-high eight three-pointers, five of them in the third quarter when he scored 17 points.
Warriors superstar Stephen Curry also had eight treys on the way to 30 points and Jordan Poole added 21 points as the Warriors notched a 10th straight home win.
But Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the defending champions still have room for improvement after letting a 25-point lead midway through the second quarter slip.
The Rockets, led by 20 points from Kevin Porter Jr., had sliced the deficit to four points with 6:59 left in the game.
The Warriors pulled away again, but Kerr said they need to find a way to keep teams from making a run.
“It was a phenomenal first 18 minutes,” Kerr said.
“I thought that was maybe the best stretch we’ve had all year to start the game.”
“We were defending, rebounding, doing everything right, and then we just lost our focus.”
“That’s our biggest challenge right now, trying to maintain our focus long enough not to give up leads and allow teams back in,” Kerr added.
Elsewhere, Dallas star Luka Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr. took it to the New York Knicks in the third quarter on the way to a 121-100 NBA victory at Madison Square Garden.
Doncic scored 30 points and Hardaway added 28 against his former team, the two combining for 36 points in the third quarter alone when the Mavs outscored the Knicks 41-15 to take control of the contest.