OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 27 (Ticker) --
The Houston Rockets continue
to own the Golden State Warriors at the Arena in Oakland.
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contributed season highs of 22 points and 12
rebounds and Steve Francis
added 14, nine and seven assists as
the Rockets defeated the Warriors for the 14th straight meeting
in Oakland, 91-84.
"Cato was phenomenal," said Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich,
whose team improved to 8-6, including 1-2 on their five-game
road trip. "He gave us a real big lift with his energy and
rebounding. He was just what the doctor ordered. He just did
everything well tonight to help us get this important win. This
win helps us keep our heads above water."
"I'm out there playing hard and if the opportunity presents
itself like where I was getting good passes where I could
finish, good plays where they were going toward the basket, I'm
going to try to finish them," said Cato, who made 9-of-11 shots.
"I mean, in the past, I've been missing shots like that -
today I just made them. I'm listening to guys on the team, like
, Mo (Taylor)
and Kenny (Thomas)
, who are telling me
to look for my shot as well as keep playing hard."
Rice scored 15 points and rookie Yao Ming
added 14 in 17 minutes
for Houston, which has won 19 of 20 road matchups with Golden
State and 33 of 39 overall.
"I think I could have played better defensively," Yao, who had
just three rebounds, said through an interpreter. "I don't want
to be just an offensive player. I want to be responsible for
my defensive role, too. I don't think I have that much
"He made a couple of nice moves tonight, and got a couple of
easy baskets," Warriors center Erick Dampier
said of Yao. "He's
a talented young player, and if he works at it he'll be pretty
good. He played good enough for them to win tonight."
scored 20 points, Jason Richardson
15 and 10 rebounds and Troy Murphy
12 and 13 for
Golden State, which shot just 33 percent (30-of-91) from the
"We just weren't hitting our shots tonight," said Richardson,
who made only 7-of-21 attempts. "When we went to the basket,
there were a few times when we didn't get the call. You're not
always going to get the call, though, and you need to be able to
play through that."
"I was fairly happy with our shot selection tonight," Warriors
coach Eric Musselman said. "I just thought we came out a little
passive. Shooting 33 percent is certainly indicative of that."
The Rockets led, 67-58, entering the fourth quarter before the
Warriors climbed within 72-69 on a 3-pointer by Arenas with 5:31
But Moochie Norris
countered with a jumper and Francis added a
pair of free throws and a reverse layup after stopping to pick up his mouth guard, before delivering a spectacular
crossover dribble that froze rookie Mike Dunleavy
. The Warriors
got no closer than seven points thereafter.
"We had good looks at the basket and they're just not falling
for us right now," Arenas said. "We had four days to rest our
bodies and we couldn't get it done tonight. Apparently we just
weren't ready to play."
Houston took the lead for good, 20-18, on a turnaround jumper by
Cato 1:03 into the second quarter. The Rockets led, 41-40, at
halftime before extending their advantage to nine points
entering the fourth quarter.
The crowd of 18,401 was the Warriors' largest all season,
largely due to the presence of Yao, who made an announcement on
the Jumbotron in Mandarin between the first and second quarters
advertising his second game against the Warriors later in the
"Yao is a big-time player and a huge factor both offensively and
defensively, but Cato was extremely effective," Musselman said.
"We didn't play very good weak-side defense and he drove to the
"It was just the great passing by my point guards and everybody
on the team," Cato said. "It had nothing to do with me. I'm in
the right place at the right time and it's basketball. It
wasn't anything they weren't doing out there defensively. Their
goal was to try to stop Steve and they did a good job of that
and other people had to step up."