Clint Capela
Rockets players Clint Capela and James Harden. (Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

Following the Rockets’ 116-108 home victory against the Warriors on Saturday, a confident Clint Capela gave his thoughts on the team’s standing rivalry with the best team in basketball since 2015.

“We’re confident because we know if we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, we’re going to beat them,” Capela told ESPN. “We’ve got to keep playing. We know that they’re going to come back if we have the lead, and we’ve just got to keep that mindset. Sometimes I feel like, in the past, we were all dragging down after mistakes. But today, we were ready. I think that if we’re doing what we’re supposed to do on defense – all the switches, the weak side – and keep playing our offense by keeping that mentality all game long, we have the weapons to beat them.

“We are better than them.”

There’s a difference between simply stating: “we are better than them”, after being asked by a reporter, and stating it with genuine confidence. It’s easy to see which version it is for Capela, who scored 18 points and recorded a career-high four steals in the game against Golden State.

Saturday’s game was the final meeting of the season between the two teams before a likely matchup in the Playoffs this spring. Despite coping with numerous injuries, the Rockets and Warriors have been the top two teams in basketball since the start of the season with a combined record of 69-22. Houston is 17-0 in games which James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela have played.

“We’re definitely the best in the league with everybody healthy,” Capela told ESPN. “We’ve definitely got a chance to get that 1-seed back. The thing is, of course, we’re excited because it’s the Warriors, but Monday is an important game, too. If we lose and the [Warriors] win their game, what was the point? The next game, every single time, is going to be the key to go get the No. 1, first seed.”

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