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Warriors 105, Rockets 93



OAKLAND, Calif. — Forward Draymond Green’s dunk with 4:21 to go ignited an 11-point run that propelled the Golden State Warriors to their 14th consecutive win Wednesday night, 105-93 over the Houston Rockets.

In running their record to an NBA-best 19-2, the Warriors took charge for good after a 3-pointer by shooting guard James Harden had drawn the Rockets even one final time at 89-all.

Green broke the tie with his dunk, and after Harden misfired on a 3-pointer at the other end, Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes converted a three-point play in transition for a 94-89 advantage with 3:56 left.

Golden State’s defense then contributed two big plays when backup guard Shaun Livingston and shooting guard Klay Thompson blocked consecutive Rockets shots.

When Thompson hit a driving hoop at the other end, the Warriors’ lead extended to seven at 96-89.

Point guard Stephen Curry spun in a layup and Thompson added a pair of free throws to cap the run, which produced a 100-89 lead with just 2:23 to play and the Rockets were never closer the rest of the way.

Thompson (21), Curry (20) and Barnes (20) all topped 20 points for the Warriors, who were playing at home following a stretch of five of six on the road.

Curry contributed seven assists and seven rebounds to the win. Barnes also had seven rebounds.

The win made Steve Kerr the first coach in NBA history ever to win 19 of his first 21 games.

Harden, who had been questionable for the game because of back spasms, led all scorers with 34 points, hitting 14 of his 27 shots. He also added eight rebounds.

Forwards Trevor Ariza and Donatas Motiejunas chipped in 18 points apiece for the Rockets (16-5), who had won four in a row and seven of eight.

The teams were both without their starting centers, with the Warriors missing Andrew Bogut (tendinitis in his right knee) and the Rockets going for a 10th consecutive game without Dwight Howard (strained right knee).

The Warriors trailed for much of the first 2 1/2 quarters before getting five points from Thompson in a 7-0 spurt that produced a 66-61 lead with 3:19 to go in the third quarter.

Golden State had a chance to go up eight when Thompson lined up for an open 3-pointer in the left corner. But his shot missed the mark, and the Rockets immediately countered with 3-pointers from point guard Patrick Beverley and Ariza to go back in front.

Getting a last-second tip-in from Harden, the Rockets retained a 76-73 lead headed into the fourth period.

NOTES: The game matched the teams with the NBA’s best (Warriors, 18-2) and fourth-best (Rockets, 16-4) records. … When the clubs met in Houston on Nov. 8, both were undefeated (Warriors 4-0, Rockets 5-0). … Rockets C Dwight Howard also missed the Nov. 8 meeting with the Warriors because of an illness. Warriors C Andrew Bogut had 18 rebounds that night. … Warriors coach Steve Kerr announced before the game that both Bogut and PF David Lee (strained left knee) are scheduled to travel with the team for its trip to Dallas, New Orleans and Memphis that tips off Saturday. … Before the rematch with the Rockets, only one of the Warriors’ previous 13 opponents entered Wednesday with a winning record.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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