Regular Season Series (Game 2 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

Rockets 91


Warriors 84

(4-11, 3-5 home)

    Coverage: FSBAY

    7:30 PM ET, November 27, 2002

    ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    HOU 18 23 26 2491
    GS 18 22 18 2684

    Top Performers

    Hou: K. Cato 22 Pts, 12 Reb, 6 Blk

    GS: G. Arenas 20 Pts, 5 Reb, 9 Ast, 2 Stl

    Rockets win 14th straight at Golden State

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Kelvin Cato took advantage of his first extended playing time this season.

    Kelvin Cato

    Cato, who had played a total of 20 minutes in Houston's last eight games combined, scored a season-high 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Rockets defeated the Golden State Warriors 91-84 on Wednesday night.

    "It's hard for me to keep my attitude good when I'm not playing,'' said Cato, who played 31 minutes against the Warriors. "You just have to stay focused and when you get the opportunity to shine, you've got to go play. I was getting good passes where I could finish.''

    It was the most playing time Cato -- who recorded his first double-double of the season and 22nd of his career -- received since the Rockets Nov. 9 game against Golden State, when he played 35 minutes. He also blocked a season-high six shots.

    Yao Ming, Houston's 7-foot-6 first-round draft pick from China, added 14 points and eight rebounds in 16 minutes as the Rockets won their 14th straight on the Warriors' home court. Glen Rice had 15 points and Steve Francis added 14.

    "Yao is a big-time player and a huge factor both offensively and defensively,'' Warriors coach Eric Musselman said. "But Cato was extremely effective. He dove to the basket from the weak side.''

    Gilbert Arenas scored 20 points to lead the Warriors, who have lost five of their last seven. Jason Richardson added 17 points and Antawn Jamison had 15 to go with 10 rebounds.

    "I thought we were passive offensively,'' said Musselman. "When you shoot 33 percent, you're going to be passive. The shots just weren't falling.''

    Troy Murphy extended his consecutive double-double streak to six games with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

    The Rockets were coming of their season-worst offensive output in a 77-71 loss to the Portland Trailblazers on Tuesday.

    "Cato was phenomenal,'' Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "He gave us a real big lift with his energy and rebounding. He was just what the doctor ordered.''

    Fans -- with a heavy Asian-American influence among the season-high crowd of 18,401 -- cheered Yao's every move and some were waving signs in support. One read, "Yao Ming, You Da King!'' Announcements in the Arena were made in both English and Yao's native Mandarin.

    "It seems like I have been magnified much larger than I am,'' Yao said through an interpreter during a pregame interview. "It feels as if everybody is looking at me.''

    Yao played his first game in the United States in Oakland as a member of the Chinese National Team in August, scoring 13 points with 11 rebounds and six blocks in a loss to Team USA.

    Arenas hit a 3-pointer with 5:29 remaining to play to bring the Warriors within 72-69 but that would be as close as they would come as Houston built a 10-point edge and held on.

    Yao collected four fouls within nine minutes of the third quarter and left with his fifth personal late in the period.

    "I could definitely work on my defensive awareness,'' Yao said. "I could have played better. defensively.''

    Houston carried a 67-58 lead into the fourth quarter.

    Yao, limited to eight minutes in the first half, scored nine of the Rockets' first 11 points but was out of the game when Houston rallied from an early deficit to tie the game at 18 after the first quarter.

    Cato, 9-of-11 from the field, scored 12 points in the second quarter as the Rockets held on to take a 41-40 lead at halftime.

    Game notes

    The Warriors signed guard Earl Boykins before the game. ... Yao received a warm reception from the fans during pregame introductions. ... Rockets assistant coach Larry Smith played for the Warriors between 1980-89. ... Warriors guard Bob Sura strained his lower back while rehabbing a left calf strain on Tuesday and will be out indefinitely. ... The halftime show featured a Chinese Kung Fu Academy from nearby San Leandro with a martial arts demonstration. ... The Warriors haven't beaten Houston at home since March 7, 1996. ... Richardson was 0-for-6 from the floor in the first half. ... The Warriors are 0-8 when scoring less than 100 points.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 91 84
    FGM-FGA 34-77 (.442) 30-91 (.330)
    3PM-3PA 2-9 (.222) 4-16 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 21-32 (.656) 20-30 (.667)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-52 25-51
    Assists 19 17
    Turnovers 18 14
    Steals 5 6
    Blocks 11 7
    Fast Break Points 2 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 25 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Golden State
    Kelvin Cato Cato
    Points: 22
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 6
    Gilbert Arenas Arenas
    Points: 20
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0