Murphy had only an average offensive game — 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting — but it was far more than the Rockets gotout of Weatherspoon, who was rendered so useless (2-for-5, four points), he wound up splitting time with Scott Padgett.
The fact Murphy failed to take full advantage of the mismatch is a concern for the Warriors. After all, they're at such a disadvantage against so many of the West's elite-level power forwards, they'd like to see dominance in Murphy's head-to-heads with the rare weaklings.
Toward that end, Mike Montgomery wants his 245-pounder to spend a lot of time in the weight room this summer. The coach would like to see a stronger — and more confident — player when the team takes a serious run at the playoffs next season.
"There are five or six guys we'd like to see get stronger. He's one of them," Montgomery said. "We'd like Troy to be able to finish better and use the right hand more, so we can get him the ball around the blocks more often."
Murphy's inability to be productive around the offensive hoop, even when matched up against a guy such as Weatherspoon, was on display early and often in front of the 16,638 on hand.
The gifted long-distance shooter went outside to connect twice in the early going, including a 3-pointer on his first touch, but everything went south for him as soon as he tried to do further damage around the hoop.
He lost the ball the first time he drove, then couldn't convert either right- or left-handed on a layup/tip-in sequence delivered by Davis minutes later.
Having lost his confidence, Murphy finished the half on a 1-for-6 run and didn't pick up the pace again until he went back outside for a 3 early in the second half.
The fourth-year Warrior recognizes his shortcomings and agrees with Montgomery on the need to hit the weights this off-season.
"I'm not going to sit around and eat chicken wings all summer," he said. "It's not about adding weight. Strength is key.
"It helps me defend a bigger guy, and it helps me when I'm defended by a smaller guy. I'll still be able to take a bigger guy outside. But if they put a smaller guy on me, I'll be able to take him inside."
The last time the Warriors lost — March 23 against Dallas — power forward Dirk Nowitzki crushed them with 29 points. It was a game Murphy missed while attending his grandmother's funeral.
That's a tough matchup for any current Warrior other than Murphy, who now realizes just how tough it is to duel the West's assortment of power-forward talents.
Murphy plans to do more than just lift weights this summer.
"I'm going to watch film — watch the way Cliff (Robinson) defended those guys," he said of his former teammate, one of the top individual defenders in the league. "He had tricks that he did to shut guys down."
Murphy realizes his role next season could change based upon the team's lottery pick in June. It's just another reason for him to be prepared to be more multidimensional in 2005-06.
"Whatever helps us win the game, that's all I care about," he insisted.