Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/9

Game 1: Saturday, November 9th
Game 2: Wednesday, November 27th
Game 3: Saturday, January 4th
Game 4: Friday, March 21st

Warriors 104

(1-6, 0-5 away)

Rockets 111


    7:30 PM ET, November 9, 2002

    1 2 3 4 T
    GS 28 20 25 31104
    HOU 21 29 28 33111

    Top Performers

    GS: G. Arenas 28 Pts, 6 Reb, 10 Ast, 1 Stl

    Hou: S. Francis 31 Pts, 2 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    Rockets' Francis scores 23 of 31 points in second half

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Losing on a night when Hakeem Olajuwon's number was retired would have been unacceptable.

    Steve Francis

    "I didn't even think about losing. It would have been a disgrace,'' Steve Francis said after scoring 23 of his 31 points in the second half, including six in the final 1:02, to lead the Houston Rockets to a 111-104 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.

    Olajuwon had his No. 34 jersey retired in a halftime ceremony.

    "It was a very emotional night. It almost looked unbelievable to see him standing there,'' Francis continued. "I am happy I was able to be a part of it. It is something that I will always remember.''

    It was the third time in five games that Francis scored 30 or more. Cuttino Mobley added 25 points for Houston, followed by Kenny Thomas with 20 and Eddie Griffin with 13.

    Jason Richardson and Gilbert Arenas led Golden State with 28 points each, while Erick Dampier added 23 and Antawn Jamison 21. The Warriors lost their sixth in a row.

    "It's hard to give our all and come out on the short end,'' Arenas added. "We're 1-6 and it is hard to look at my play when we are losing.''

    Golden State coach Eric Musselman was pleased with his team's effort and particularly with the play of Arenas.

    "We're not happy with the result but we are happy with the effort. Both Houston guards are phenomenal players and I thought Gilbert did a great job both offensively and defensively,'' Musselman said.

    The Rockets opened the second half by outscoring the Warriors 13-2 to move ahead 63-50. Dampier then led a Warriors rally, scoring nine points to pull them within one, 74-73, with 1:37 left in the third period.

    Francis had 15 third-period points.

    The Rockets increased their lead to 85-75 after a 3-point shot by Mobley. Golden State cut its deficit to five, 85-80, on a 3-point shot by Jamison with 8:54 left.

    A 3-point shot by Griffin gave the Rockets a 100-92 advantage, but the Warriors pulled within two, 101-99 after a pair of free throws by Richardson with 1:18 left.

    Francis then hit a 3-point shot and a pair of free throws with 45 seconds remaining to give Houston a 106-101 lead and secure the victory.

    Golden State moved ahead 40-30 after a pair of baskets by Jamison and led 44-33 after consecutive baskets by Richardson with 4:40 left in the first half. Houston then scored 16 straight, six by Thomas, to lead 49-44.

    Game notes

    Yao Ming played seven minutes, scored three points and had two rebounds and two fouls. ... Houston has won 21 of its last 25 games with Golden State ... Francis joins Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett as the only players in the NBA to rank in the top 25 in scoring, rebounding and assists ... When Arenas hit a first quarter 3-point shot for Golden State, he snapped a streak of 15 misses by the Warriors from 3-point range over two games ... When Golden State led Houston 28-21 after the first period, it was the first time in seven games this season that the Warriors have led going into the second period.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 104 111
    FGM-FGA 36-82 (.439) 40-88 (.455)
    3PM-3PA 7-19 (.368) 6-19 (.316)
    FTM-FTA 25-28 (.893) 25-35 (.714)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-44 16-40
    Assists 22 20
    Turnovers 15 9
    Steals 8 7
    Blocks 7 6
    Fast Break Points 2 11
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (0/0) 23 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Golden State
    Gilbert Arenas Arenas
    Points: 28
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Steve Francis Francis
    Points: 31
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0