HOUSTON, Dec. 31 (Ticker) -- Tracy McGrady
led a comeback, but could not
put the Houston Rockets over the top.
McGrady scored 16 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, but
missed two potential game-tying 3-pointers in the final 10
seconds as the Rockets suffered their fifth consecutive loss, a
94-89 defeat to the Golden State Warriors.
NBA TV highlights from |
Houston beat Golden State in overtime on December 14 after a
16-5 run in the final four minutes of regulation. But this
time, the rally fell short.
Trailing 90-80 with 90 seconds to go, the Rockets went on a 9-0
run to get within one as McGrady banked in a 3-pointer, Rafer Alston
drained a 3-pointer from the corner with 51 seconds to
go, and McGrady connected on three free throws with 18 seconds
"Every game seems like a close game," Golden State coach Mike Montgomery
said. "We're up 11, then McGrady goes bang, bang,
After Derek Fisher
's two free throws gave the Warriors a 92-89
advantage with 14 seconds remaining, McGrady missed two shots
from beyond the arc and rookie John Lucas III
stepped on the
sideline with 2.2 seconds to go after rebounding McGrady's
Golden State forward Troy Murphy
then hit two free throws to
secure the Warriors' third straight win.
"The odds got to come to you at some point," Montgomery said of
McGrady missing the final two 3-pointers near the end. "The
first one was under duress. The second one concerned me because
he had a really good look.
"We thought about fouling, but with 14 seconds left, too many
things can happen."
McGrady, who returned from an ankle injury early in the first
quarter, added 10 rebounds and two blocks.
"I don't know if I stepped on his (Golden State's Ike Diogu
foot or stepped on somebody else's foot," McGrady said. "I know
I just rolled my ankle. It's a little sore. It took me a
while to get it going because I'm not used to having much tape
on my foot."
collected 23 points and seven assists and Jason Richardson
added 22 points for the Warriors.
"Our guards on this trip have been really, really good,"
Stopping the 6-8 McGrady presented a different type of problem.
"That's why T-Mac is who he is," Davis said. "You've got to stay
focused when he's on the court. He's capable of scoring a lot
of points in a short period of time."
"He's so hard to defend," Richardson said. "He's like 6-10 with
a 10-foot wingspan."
The Warriors led 74-66 after three quarters, but scored only two
points in the first six-plus minutes of the fourth quarter.
Golden State also dribbled the shot clock away and was forced
into long contested jump shots, which fueled Houston's late
"The back-to-back games really took its toll on our team," said
Montgomery, whose team defeated Dallas, 111-109, on Friday. "The
guys were tired. You could see their legs were tired."
"We started missing some shots we normally make," Richardson
said. "It was a little fatigue."
The rookie Diogu, doing the dirty work inside, scored seven of
the Warriors' first 13 points in the fourth quarter.
"We were physical like coach told us to be," Diogu said.
Houston shot just 22 percent (5-of-23) from beyond the arc.
"We're not a good shooting team," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy
said. "One of the things we did last year so well was shoot the
(3-pointer). This year, obviously, we're not a real good
3-point shooting team."
, who scored a season high 26 on Wednesday at New
Orleans, gave the Rockets a boost with 17 points and 13