Notebook: Rockets 116, Warriors 107



Posted Feb 13, 2013 2:08 AM

Geoff Lepper, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Houston Rockets proved they could beat the Golden State Warriors just as easily without a torrent of 3-point shots. A week after tying the NBA's all-time record for 3-pointers in a game while blowing out the Warriors, Houston went more conventional Tuesday, using precise ball movement and baseline cuts to slice open Golden State during a 116-107 victory.

James Harden scored a team-high 27 points and added seven rebounds and five assists despite rolling his right ankle midway through the third quarter. Chandler Parsons nearly delivered a triple-double with 21 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, while Bay Area native and ex-Warrior Jeremy Lin had 14 points and 10 assists in his first Oakland appearance since the dawn of "Linsanity" last year.

Stephen Curry matched Harden with 27 points, plus six assists and five rebounds but couldn't keep Golden State from suffering its fifth straight defeat, ensuring the Warriors' longest losing streak of the season will continue through the All-Star break.

QUOTABLE: "If we get ball and body movement, we're hard to guard. . . . They were trying to switch some things, and our guys read it well. If a guy turns his head, you should cut."
-- Rockets coach Kevin McHale

THE STAT: Houston recorded 32 assists on their 43 buckets Tuesday, a rate of 74.4 percent. That's the third-best mark the Rockets have had this season, ranking just behind the 76.1 percent (35-for-46) Houston enjoyed in their 140-109 win against the Warriors on Feb. 5.

TURNING POINT: Parsons took it upon himself to carry more of the offensive load in the third quarter as Harden, who stepped on David Lee's foot while driving to the basket at the 7:10 mark, tried to work his way back into the game. Parsons scored 11 of the Rockets' first 21 points in the period, then delivered assists on four consecutive possessions for Houston, creating an 8-2 run that took Houston to its biggest lead to that point, 88-77 with 1:12 left in the quarter.

GOOD MOVE: The Rockets easily could have shut down Harden after he rolled the ankle, given that Houston's only hometown All-Star was already suffering from a bruised left knee suffered Sunday in Sacramento. But he was able to gut out another 13:37 worth of playing time, and though he wasn't terrifically effective in that span -- 2-for-5 with two free throws for seven points -- his presence still meant the Warriors' defense had to respect his scoring ability and could not devote more focus to stopping the likes of Parsons and Lin.

QUOTABLE II: "It [the ankle injury] looked kind of nasty. I give him a lot of credit. He sucked it up and came back. And we needed him."
-- Kevin McHale on Harden

HOT: Houston shot 51.0 percent from the floor in the second half, continuing the Warriors' slide defensively. The Warriors have allowed opponents to make more than half their shots in three of the last five games. Golden State kept teams at or under 50 percent in 44 of its first 47 games this season.

QUOTABLE III: "We're not there yet. We're not where we think we are. I think we thought we were maybe a little better than we were. We were the hunters early in the season. I think now, we're the hunted, so it's a different mindset for us when teams come out there trying to kick our ass."
-- Warriors center Andrew Bogut

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Warriors guard Jarrett Jack returned from a three-game absence due to a right shoulder contusion -- suffered last week in Houston near the end of a 140-109 victory for the Rockets -- and showed exactly why the Warriors' offense has sputtered without him, providing 22 points and five assists in 32 minutes.

ROOKIE WATCH: Rockets guard Patrick Beverley -- whose late-game dunk and taunting of the Golden State bench in Houston last week set the Warriors on edge -- did not back down, even as Jack attacked him at every opportunity. Beverley finished with seven points and five assists in 19 minutes.

NOT: Klay Thompson had 22 points for Golden State, but came up empty in the fourth quarter, missing all three attempts from the floor and committing a turnover in the period as well.

NOTABLE: Harden's status should be considered questionable for the Rockets' game Wednesday against the Clippers in Los Angeles. "I could barely walk," Harden said of the ankle. "I'm still limping." . . . Bogut's 12 rebounds were a season-high, his first double-digit performance since joining the Warriors. . . . Golden State forward David Lee upped his league-leading double-double count to 33 thanks to 12 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out with 1:43 remaining. . . . Houston center Omer Asik countered with 13 points and 15 boards. . . . All five Rockets starters reached double digits in scoring, as well as two of Houston's four reserves who played. . . . Harden and Lin combined to go 19-for-19 from the free-throw line. The rest of the Rockets were 1-for-6.

UP NEXT: For the Rockets, Wednesday @ L.A. Clippers, Wednesday vs. Oklahoma City, Friday @ Brooklyn. For the Warriors, Tuesday @ Utah, Wednesday vs. Phoenix, Friday vs. San Antonio.