Rockets 116, Warriors 112

Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Center Dwight Howard slammed home forward Terrence Jones' miss to start a three-point play with 2:15 to go, highlighting a late run that allowed the Houston Rockets to record a 116-112 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.
The win allowed the Rockets (16-8) to continue their recent mastery of the Warriors (13-11), beating them for the second time this season and 19th time in the last 22 meetings.
The Rockets were playing their second game in two nights, both without coach Kevin McHale, who returned to his home state of Minnesota following the death of his mother, Josephine, on Tuesday.
After the Warriors held the Rockets scoreless for the first 2:49 of the fourth quarter to erase almost all of a nine-point deficit, the teams were tied at 98 following tip by Golden State forward Harrison Barnes with 3:16 to play.
But the Rockets rushed the ball up the court and got an interior hoop from forward Chandler Parsons, retaking a lead they never relinquished.
Howard's key three-point play came two possessions later and pushed the margin to five 103-98 with 2:15 to go.
The Warriors, losing for just the third time in 10 home games this season, were never closer than three after that.
Shooting guard James Harden had 26 points to lead the way for the Rockets, who are now 3-0 on the second night of back-to-back road games.
Parsons finished with 23, point guard Patrick Beverley 16 and Howard produced an 18-point, 11-rebound double-double.
Power forward David Lee (23 points, 10 rebounds), Barnes (20 points, 12 rebounds) and center Andrew Bogut (10 points, 11 rebounds) all recorded double-doubles for the Warriors, who suffered their worst loss of the season at Houston on Dec. 6.
Point guard Stephen Curry had 20 points, reserve power forward Marresse Speights 16 and shooting guard Klay Thompson 15 for Golden State.
Holding the Warriors to just six fast-break points through 36 minutes, the Rockets took an 82-73 lead into the fourth quarter. But Houston went a full 2:49 without taking a shot to open the quarter, committing four consecutive turnovers while the Warriors were running off eight consecutive points to get within a point.
Parsons ended the Rockets' drought with a tough 21-footer from the left corner with 9:11 to go, but Speights scored four consecutive points, the latter two on a 10-footer that gave Golden State its first lead since early in the second quarter at 85-84 with 8:10 to go.
Three ties and three lead changes later, Barnes followed in a Bogut miss to create one last tie at 98 with 3:16 to go. But it was all Houston after that.
NOTES: The Warriors held an on-court tribute for Bernard King during the break between the first and second quarters. King, who averaged 22.5 points over two seasons with the Warriors from 1980-82, was a member of the most recent class inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame. ... Rockets C Dwight Howard made his third career 3-pointer in the second quarter. He had been 2-for-41 in his career from beyond the arc entering the game. ... Warriors backup C Jermaine O'Neal underwent surgery Friday to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist. His recovery time is being estimated at four months, which means he could miss the rest of the regular season. ... The Rockets were without their backup center, C Omar Osik, who sat out a fifth consecutive game with a bruised right thigh. The Rockets hope to get Osik back next week.

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