The Houston Rockets defeated the Golden State Warriors 116-112 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA. The Rockets improved to 16-8, and the Warriors fell to 13-11.
Golden State consistently failed to score down the stretch, and the Rockets capitalized on good shooting, both from the field and the free throw line.
After Stephen Curry hit a three to tie the game at 96 with 4:52 to go, the Warriors went cold from long distance. The missed threes gave the Rockets opportunities to continue separating themselves from Golden State.
The Warriors resorted to a fouling strategy during the final 41 seconds of the game. The strategy was surprisingly effective at narrowing the seven-point deficit, but ultimately failed because the Rockets went nine for ten from the line.
Interesting note: Dwight Howard scored 18 points, and only missed one shot. He made five of six shots from the field, including a three-pointer. Howard was ice on the line making seven of seven free throws. This may be going out on a limb, but if Howard shot well from the line, he would be the best player in the game.
Houston top performers: Shooting guard James Harden scored 26 points and dropped nine dimes. Small forward Chandler Parsons netted 23 points along with three steals. Power forward Dwight Howard scored 18 points, collected 11 rebounds, and dished out three assists. Point guard Patrick Beverly finished with 16 points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Golden State top performers: Power forward David Lee scored 23 points, grabbed 10 boards, and had two blocks. Small forward Harrison Barnes netted 20 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists. Point guard Stephen Curry scored 20 points and dished out nine dimes. Power forward Marreese Speights scored 16 points and collected nine rebounds. Klay Thompson scored 15 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Center Andrew Bogut finished with 10 points and 11 boards.