Warriors vs. Rockets: Stephen Curry vs. Jeremy Lin Is Key Matchup to Watch

Morgan Chalfant@@mchalfant16Contributor IIIFebruary 5, 2013

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 23: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors dribbles the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Oracle Arena on January 23, 2013 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Tonight, point guards Stephen Curry and Jeremy Lin will go head to head when the Houston Rockets host the Golden State Warriors. Though Lin singlehandedly caused “Linsanity” during his time with the New York Knicks last season, Curry is currently making a name for himself as he continues to improve.

On February 2nd against Phoenix, Curry led the Warriors to a 113-93 win with 29 points, playing an impressive 42 minutes and averaging a field-goal percentage of .550 and a three-point percentage of .600. He also grabbed two rebounds, eight assists and two steals during the game.

These statistics show Curry’s improvement, as they top his 2012-13 season averages. For the season, he has been shooting 44.0 percent from the field and 45.7 percent from beyond the arc while recording 3.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 21.1 points in 38.0 minutes per game.

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle recently complimented Curry on his skill, as reported by the Dallas Morning News. Carlisle commented on Curry getting left out of the All-Star Game: “He was deserving,” Carlisle said. “Somebody was going to get left out. The likelihood was that one of the Memphis guys would get left out, one of the Golden State guys would get left out.”

However, Curry could be held back by a recent right ankle sprain that appears to be nagging him.

Tonight, Curry will have to match up against Houston’s Jeremy Lin, whom the Rockets signed to a hefty three-year, $25 million deal last summer. Unfortunately for Houston, Lin has cooled off a bit since his days as a starter for New York.

This season, the point guard has been averaging a field-goal percentage of .431 and a three-point percentage of .289 to go with 3.7 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 12.2 points in 33.0 minutes per game. However, with the Knicks, Lin averaged 18.5 points and 7.6 assists per game.

Yet, Lin led the Rockets to a 109-95 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on February 2nd and put up decent numbers. He scored nine points and tallied two rebounds, eight assists and three steals in 34 minutes.

Lin will face a challenge in Curry, but if he plays as he did against the Bobcats and Curry’s ankle continues to bother him, then Lin could prevail as the stronger point guard. As it stands, Curry’s statistics and improvement indicate that he will triumph over Lin tonight.