Davis leads fourth-quarter run to boost Warriors over RocketsJan 1, 2008 - 4:12 AM By Andrew Ferraro PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
HOUSTON (Ticker) -- The Golden State Warriors have the Houston Rockets' number and they needed a big comeback to get their latest win in the "Space City".
After trailing by 11 points in the third quarter, Baron Davis led a decisive rally in the opening minutes of the fourth as Golden State recorded a 112-95 victory over Houston on Monday.
Davis scored 10 of his 23 points during an 18-4 burst, extending the Warriors' impressive early showing on the road. They won their third straight, and their total of 11 road wins is one less than the 12 they had all of last season.
"That is what we wanted to do," Davis said. "Keep the game close and then get the victory. That is all that matters. And we know how to play on the road. Just keep the game close."
Monte Ellis had 20 points and Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington added 18 and 16, respectively, as Golden State won its fourth straight game in the series. The Warriors also beat the Rockets, 94-89, on New Year's Eve two years ago.
"Tonight, I just took good, smart shots," said Ellis, who went 8-of-11 from the field. "I didn't force the issue. This was a good team victory and hopefully we will continue it on this road trip."
Houston overcame an 11-point deficit late in the first half, but its shooting went cold at the end of the third quarter. It went more than seven minutes without making a field goal as Golden State converted turnovers into points.
With 1:54 left in the third, Shane Battier gave the Rockets a 78-69 lead on a layup, but the Warriors scored the next six points, including a dunk by Mickael Pietrus that got Golden State within three late in the third.
The Warriors then went on the decisive 18-4 run to start the fourth behind Davis. He started the final period with a long 3-pointer and hit back-to-back shots with 7:15 to go. Ellis finished the run with a dunk, giving Golden State a 93-84 lead with 6:51 remaining.
Houston, who was outscored 37-15 in the fourth, did not make its first field goal in the quarter until Rafer Alston's layup with 6:29 to go.
"Trash," Rockets guard Bonzi Wells said when asked to describe the team's finish. "I feel like we controlled the game for three quarters and played the way we wanted to play. The fourth quarter was just trash."
Alston led the Rockets with 22 points, making 8-of-17 shots. Wells played well in the first half, but was held to just five shots in the second half and finished with 17 points.
Yao Ming, double-teamed throughout the game, attempted just four shots in the first 3 1/2 quarters. With the game slipping away, Yao made two of his next four attempts, but the Warriors kept him from having a big game and held him to just 16 points.
Yao also committed four turnovers and Wells six as Houston finished with 23 giveaways.
"They just caught fire and we caved into the situation," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "We couldn't make a shot the whole game and we just turned the ball over way too much. We could have been up by 10, 12, 14 points, but we just let them hang around and let them get going."
The Rockets trailed by 11 with 7:02 left in the second quarter after Kelenna Azubuike's layup capped an 8-5 run by the Warriors.
But that is when Steve Novak and Wells went to work for Houston, which went on a 22-8 run over the final 6:44 of the first half. Novak hit his second 3-pointer with 5:29 to go and Alston gave the Rockets the lead at 51-49 on a layup with 32 seconds to go.
Novak, making his first appearance of the season, hit a pair of free throws when Golden State coach Don Nelson was ejected, but Azubuike nailed a 3-pointer to get the Warriors back within two points six seconds later.
"He got caught up in the moment of the game," Ellis said of Nelson. "He got us fired up."
Not to be denied, Wells took a pass from Alston and slammed home the final basket of the first half to give Houston a 56-52 lead at the break.
Assistant coach Keith Smart took over for Nelson and just told his team to keep its composure, even after falling behind in the third.
"(Nelson) has been training me since the day I got here," Smart said. "We're not going to come back unless we keep it cool and just do the things that we needed to do. It was a good win."
GOLDEN STATE 112
HOUSTON 95 FINAL
Dec 31 9:28 PM
GOLDEN STATE 75
HOUSTON 80 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 31 8:58 PM
GOLDEN STATE 52
HOUSTON 56 HALFTIME
Dec 31 8:17 PM
GOLDEN STATE 28
HOUSTON 22 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 31 7:38 PM
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