Rockets have answers for Warriors

Rockets have answers for Warriors
December 14, 2013, 1:15 am
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Howard: 'I didn't want to shoot a long two'

It seemed like it just might be the Rockets night when center Dwight Howard stepped behind the 3-point line, took a pass from James Harden and calmly drilled a 3-pointer. It was just the third successful triple of Howard’s ten year career. It also gave the Rockets a nine point lead, midway through the second quarter and helped the Rockets grab a 116-112 win on the road at Golden State.

Howard finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds, despite being in foul trouble most of the night. He made 5-of-6 shots from the floor and made all seven of his free throws. That’s the most free throws he’s made in a game without a miss, since his rookie season when he was 8-of-8 on Mar. 2, 2005 versus Sacramento.

James Harden scored 26 points and had nine assists, while Chandler Parsons added 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting, while continuing to battle his back spasms. The 23 points matches his third best output of the season.

Houston was outrebounded by Golden State, 56-32. That was the biggest rebounding deficit the Rockets have had all year by far. They had only been outrebounded five times previously and never by more than six rebounds.

Nineteen of those 56 rebounds were on the offensive end for the Warriors. They converted those into 25 second chance points, the most the Rockets have allowed all season.

More than half of those points, 13 of them, came in the fourth quarter, when the Warriors briefly took a pair of one-point leads, their only leads since the opening seconds of the second quarter.

In spite of the Rockets rebounding issues, they had an answer for the Warriors push all game long. The game was tied at 98, after the Warriors had a three-shot possession, thanks to a pair of offensive rebounds. That’s when the Rockets took the game from the Warriors.

Harden found Parsons at the rim for a reverse layup to put Houston up 100-98. The next sequence was rather ironic since Howard grabbed a Terrence Jones missed layup and put it back in and got fouled. He made the free throw for a 103-98 Houston lead. His offensive rebound was the only one the Rockets had in the fourth quarter.

After Stephen Curry scored on a reverse layup, Pat Beverley hit a long jumper, followed by a long tear drop and Houston held a 107-100 lead with under a minute remaining and the Rockets held on for their 16th win.

Houston (16-8) is now 8-4 overall in back-to-back games. They are also 5-1 on the second night, including wins on the road at Portland, at San Antonio and at Golden State.