PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)—It was too much Baron Davis—again.
“Leadership,” Golden State head coach Mike Montgomery explained. “He’s a point guard that has the ability to make other players better. He’s a true point guard.”
Troy Murphy added 22 points and 10 rebounds as Golden State won for the 11th time in 13 games.
Murphy credits Davis for Golden State’s late season surge.
“He’s a guy who’s not only willing to take the shot at the end of the game, he has the ability to make it, and that makes us a more dangerous team,” Murphy said.
On Tuesday night, Davis led Golden State with a career-high 40 points and 13 assists in a 122-117 victory over the Rockets. It was the first 30-point, 10-assist game by a Warrior since Jimmy Jackson had 33 points and 11 assists April 2, 1998.
Since the Warriors acquired Davis from New Orleans, they’ve gone 14-7. He is averaging 18.5 points a game.
“Right now we’re just playing hard. We’re getting shots offensively and getting our hands on the ball defensively,” he said. “Like you saw down the stretch, we made hustle plays. Not all of them went our way, but we’re making those plays.”
Ruben Patterson had 27 points for the Blazers, who have lost six straight and aren’t headed to the postseason, either. Portland (24-50) reached 50 losses for the first time since 1973-74, when they went 27-55.
Damon Stoudamire had a triple double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the Blazers, but missed the final shot that would have won it.
Patterson pulled the Blazers within 103-101 with 1:55 left. After Davis hit one of a pair of free throws for Golden State, Joel Przybilla had one for Portland. Stoudamire’s 3-point attempt missed as time ran out.
“I missed that shot. It really didn’t feel that good to be honest with you, coming off my hands, because I rushed it when Davis went by me,” Stoudamire said. “Looked like I got a good shot off but it didn’t feel good.”
Golden State opened the second quarter with a 13-point run to go up 46-28, capped by Derek Fisher’s 3-pointer and free throw.
The Warriors led by as many as 19 in the first half but let up a bit and were ahead 64-54 at the break.
The Blazers narrowed it to 88-85 on Stoudamire’s 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter.
Shareef Abdur-Rahim tied it at 91 with a jumper, and Patterson put the Blazers ahead when he made one of two free throws. But Murphy answered for the Warriors with a short jumper and a free throw, followed by Jason Richardson’s rim-hanging dunk.
The Warriors held Portland at bay until Patterson’s driving layup and free throw got the Blazers within two in the final minutes.
“We fell asleep in the second quarter and allowed them to get back into the ballgame,” Davis said. “A lot of times in a situation like that you tend to let up, but we can’t afford that.”
The Blazers fired coach Maurice Cheeks early last month, replacing him with Kevin Pritchard, the team’s director of player personnel, for the interim. With Portland all but out of the playoff picture, Pritchard announced he was shifting the focus toward developing young talent.
Meanwhile, many of the veterans are injured.
Guard Derek Anderson sat out his seventh straight game with back spasms. Center Theo Ratliff missed his eighth game with a shoulder injury. Forward Darius Miles missed his third game, also with a shoulder injury.
Portland had won four straight against the Warriors.
Golden State has missed the playoffs for 11 seasons, the longest streak in the league. … Ratliff said he was angry that the team had fined him $35,000 for missing seven lifting sessions. Ratliff has missed the Blazers’ last eight games with a shoulder injury. He said he did not know he was being fined. The team said it would not comment on fines. … University of Portland basketball coach Michael Holton, who is friends with Davis and also a fellow UCLA alum, attended the game.