NBA News Wire
Warriors 102, Rockets 99 (OT)
OAKLAND, Calif. — All-Star point guard Stephen Curry hit a 3-pointer to give Golden State an overtime lead it never relinquished, and the Warriors earned a 102-99 victory over the Houston Rockets on Thursday night.
Warriors center Jermaine O’Neal blocked a dunk attempt by Houston forward Chandler Parsons with 24 seconds left in OT to preserve the lead.
Curry, who forced the overtime with a driving left-handed layup that produced an 89-89 tie with 3.2 seconds left in regulation, connected from 23 feet on Golden State’s second possession of the extra period for a three-point Warriors lead.
The Rockets got within one on a Dwight Howard layup with 1:07 to go, then had a chance to go ahead on their next possession. However, Parsons, breaking backdoor, was denied at the rim by O’Neal with Golden State clinging to a 96-95 lead.
Curry extended the margin to 98-95 by sinking two free throws with 15.9 seconds left. He made it a three-point game again with another pair with 5.8 seconds remaining after Rockets guard James Harden, fouled intentionally with 7.3 seconds to go, closed the gap to 98-97 with two free throws.
Reserve forward Draymond Green iced the win with two free throws after intercepting a desperation Rockets pass with 4.1 seconds remaining.
Harden, who missed from 3-point range just before the buzzer with a chance to win it for the Rockets in regulation, added a dunk at the overtime horn to cap the scoring.
Power forward David Lee led the Warriors (33-22) with 28 points and 14 rebounds in the team’s first win over Houston in three attempts this season.
Curry connected on five 3-pointers on a 25-point night to back Lee. Guard Klay Thompson (12), guard Jordan Crawford (12) and swingman Andre Iguodala (11) also scored in double figures for the Warriors.
Reserve guard Steve Blake, acquired Wednesday in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers, had three points and two assists in 19 minutes during his Golden State debut.
Harden poured in 39 points to lead the Rockets, who entered the game with the league’s longest winning streak, eight games.
Parsons had 21 points, and Howard contributed an 11-point, 21-rebound double-double for the Rockets (37-18), who went only four deep on their bench after trading away one of their backup point guards, Aaron Brooks, earlier in the day. Brooks was sent to the Denver Nuggets for swingman Jordan Hamilton.
The Warriors battled Howard without their starting center, Andrew Bogut, who missed a sixth consecutive game due to left shoulder inflammation.
Down by as many as 11 in the third quarter, the Rockets forged a 73-73 tie in the fourth minute of the final period on a breakaway dunk by Harden.
Six lead changes later, Lee got inside the Houston defense for a right-handed layup that tied the score at 87 with 58.1 seconds left.
Golden State forced an airball from Houston guard Jeremy Lin and a subsequent 24-second violation on the Rockets’ next possession, getting the ball with 34.1 seconds to go.
But Harden, defending the much taller Lee on the block, stripped the ball from the Golden State power forward with 30 seconds left, then connected on a step-back 20-footer on the other end of the floor for an 89-87 lead with 6.9 seconds remaining.
After a timeout, Curry drove through the Houston defense for a tough left-handed layup that produced another tie with 3.2 seconds left.
Harden missed from 3-point range just before the buzzer, forcing overtime.
Lee had 13 of his points in the second quarter as the Warriors, down by as many as eight in the first period, went up by as many as eight. The Warriors led 47-43 at the break.
The turnaround was as much a result of the Warriors’ defense as their offense. Golden State held the Rockets to 26.1 percent shooting (six of 23) in the second quarter and benefitted from six Houston free-throw misses in 11 attempts.
Harden and Howard combined for just eight points in the half on 3-for-14 shooting.
NOTES: The Rockets won the last four season series against the Warriors, never losing more than one game to Golden State in any of those seasons. … Houston’s first win over Golden State this season — 105-83 on Dec. 6 — produced the Warriors’ largest margin of defeat so far in 2013-14. … SF Jordan Hamilton, acquired earlier in the day from the Denver Nuggets for PG Aaron Brooks, is expected to join the Rockets in time to play in Sunday’s game at Phoenix. … Asked before the game about the acquisition of Hamilton, Rockets coach Kevin McHale chose to focus his remarks on the loss of Brooks, saying, “Aaron won games for us.” … When PG Steve Blake took the court for Golden State on Thursday, he became the first player acquired directly from the Los Angeles Lakers ever to play for the Warriors. … Golden State coach Mark Jackson gushed over the addition of Blake before the game, predicting, “He’s going to have a big impact on this team.”
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