Recent history showed that Houston has owned the series versus Golden State, after all, the Rockets entered Sunday's matchup having won all three games in the series this season and 17 of 19 versus Golden State.
The Warriors, though, had other plans and abruptly ended a nine-game skid in Houston by downing the Rockets, 108-78, behind Stephen Curry's 29-point and 11-assist effort and Klay Thompson's 26 points and 6-of-9 shooting from behind the arc.
Andrew Bogut had 12 points and 12 rebounds and David Lee had 10 points and 10 boards for the Warriors, who finally picked up a much-needed victory in the series, even if it wasn't as pretty as planned.
"I thought we were great," Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. "Obviously, you can play the same defense, and (the Rockets) make shots. At the end of the day, we were alert, aware, we paid attention to details, we contested shots, we protected the paint, we rebounded. It was just a thing of beauty."
James Harden scored 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Rockets, who trailed by 23 points at the break and shot below 20 percent in the first half. Jeremy Lin added 21 points as well in the setback.
Carlos Delfino's three-point play early in the fourth quarter brought the hosts within 79-69, though Golden State scored eight straight to increase its edge to 18 points, as Thompson capped off the spurt with back-to-back 3- pointers.
The late-game swing for the Warriors proved to be the difference-maker, as the Rockets quickly gave in for the rest of the contest.
"What can you say?," Lin said. "We didn't do anything right tonight, and it was just one of those nights. We can dwell on it, or we can come out and kick the crap out of the next however-many opponents we have at home."
Houston made up for a miserable first half by opening up the second half with a 26-8 flurry, capped off by Lin's lay-in with 4:40 left in the third. Still, the Rockets trailed, 62-57.
Golden State, however, headed into the fourth up 15 at 75-60, as Curry's triple with 2:11 to play created some distance for the visitors.
After a brutal first quarter, Golden State took control in the second period and led at the break, 54-31. Houston's struggles were evident, as the team shot 19.6 percent (9-of-46) in the first-half, including 2-of-16 from behind the arc.
It was not a very pretty first quarter for either team, as the Warriors held a mere 18-10 edge. Golden State shot 8-of-29 compared to Houston's 3-of-23 effort.
Houston is 22-10 at home this season ... Golden State is 16-20 on the road ... The Rockets shot 32.6 percent from the floor (28-of-86), including 9-of-35 from behind the arc.