for this game

Davis nails game-winning shot as Warriors top Rockets

Dec 15, 2006 - 6:29 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Yao Ming was unstoppable, but Baron Davis and the Golden State Warriors stood tall with a dramatic victory.

Davis scored 13 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and nailed a deep, go-ahead 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining as the Warriors posted a 109-107 victory over Yao and the Houston Rockets, who again played without superstar Tracy McGrady.

Monta Ellis collected 17 points and six assists for Golden State, which shot 48 percent (38-of-80) from the field to win its second straight.

"I feel real good about the game," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "We needed to win a close game, and we did. It's always good to have an emotional win like this."

After winning two home contests, Golden State starts a difficult six-game road trip on Friday.

"This is going to be the most important trip of the year," Nelson said. "Right now, we're a game over .500, but we want to keep going. We want to go to Phoenix and play with the same energy, so I know we're going to have a good trip."

Yao dominated the paint, recording season highs of 38 points and 18 rebounds. However, with the Rockets holding a one-point lead with six seconds remaining, he missed a crucial hook shot from the baseline.

"The amazing thing is how much better he has gotten over the years," Warriors center Adonal Foyle said. "His game is improving and he has learned how to catch the ball low and repost and he is shooting the jump shot. His free-throw shooting is incredible and he's learning how to run the floor, so he's arguably one of the best big men in the game."

Davis grabbed Yao's miss, raced the other way and drained a 29-footer to give Golden State a 109-107 advantage.

"We pushed it there in the end and Baron just walked in and shot that three," Nelson said. "It was a terrific, gutsy play by a great player. There were a lot of big plays in the end and a lot of hustle. We kept hanging in there and ended up getting a lucky break."

"I caught the ball and Yao was shadowing me down the floor, kind of double-teaming me," Davis said. "So, I told Adonal to cut to the basket, but he set a screen and I knew I didn't have a lot of time, but I was in rhythm and I shot it and I hit it."

After Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy called a timeout, Yao missed a fadeaway shot from the arc as time expired.

"I'm tired, but I just didn't make that shot," Yao said.

Davis was 12-of-22 from the field and 8-of-11 from the line. Ellis shot 6-of-16 and 5-of-6.

"It was great because it's a much-needed win for us and it was just one of those shots to get us over the hump," Davis said. "We had been battling hard all night and playing as hard as we possibly could, and we just needed that one play and that one break, and that was it."

Trailing, 71-59, with 4:59 remaining in the third quarter, the Warriors went on a 21-7 run that bridged the third and fourth periods, taking an 80-78 lead on Foyle's hook with 10:44 left. The lead would change hands several times in the final period before Davis put Golden State ahead for good.

"An early lead in this game, in the NBA, it doesn't mean that much," Yao said. "Of course, if we can keep that cushion, that would be best, but they didn't keep their cushion (either).

"We still have a chance to win it. In the final 30 seconds, we're up four points and they score six points. That's the game won right there, it's not about being frustrated about how they came back."

Luther Head scored 26 points for the Rockets, who shot 42 percent (40-of-96) and now are 0-2 since McGrady went down with back spasms.

"When Tracy is out, we need all that we can get until he comes back," Head said. "When we lose games like this, it's not good. I really feel like we were supposed to win."

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