Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 3)

Series starts 12/17

Game 1: Friday, December 17th
Game 2: Monday, March 14th
Game 3: Tuesday, April 5th

Warriors 83

(7-16, 2-9 away)

Rockets 100

(11-12, 7-6 home)

    Coverage: FSBAY

    7:30 PM ET, December 17, 2004

    Toyota Center, Houston, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    GS 17 22 21 2383
    HOU 26 29 22 23100

    Top Performers

    Golden State: J. Richardson 25 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Houston: B. Sura 24 Pts, 8 Reb, 9 Ast, 2 Stl

    Houston corrals season-high 65 rebounds

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Bob Sura wouldn't say that it was special to play his former team, but it certainly looked like it.

    Sura had 24 points, nine assists and eight rebounds -- just missing his third career triple-double -- and the Houston Rockets defeated the Golden State Warriors 100-83 on Friday night.

    "It wasn't a big deal playing against them," Sura said after recording season highs for points and assists and tying his season best in rebounding. "We're just trying to get to .500, and we're on the verge."

    Sura, who missed the first 14 games of this season following back surgery, had 17 points at the half on 7-of-7 shooting as Houston (11-12) took a 55-39 lead. It was the most points by the Rockets in a first half this season. Their 29 second-quarter points also were a season best.

    "That's the way Bobby plays at his best and when he does that, we're at our best," said Tracy McGrady who led the Rockets with 27 points and had nine rebounds. "He set the tempo and the tone for the game. It carried over to his defense. It's fun to play that way when you get stops and transition baskets. He made the right plays for the team."

    Maurice Taylor agreed.

    "He was amazing," Taylor said of Sura. "He set the tone for the whole game in the first quarter. The fast-break points we got were all because of him. He pressured on defense and pushed on the offense. We get easy baskets when he pushes the ball like that."

    Sura, who played for the Warriors from 2000-03, might have completed the triple-double but he sat out nine minutes of the second half with the Rockets leading by as many as 23. Sura was aware of the near miss, but didn't mind.

    "A couple of people whispered it to me, but I was pretty tired at the end and I really didn't want to go back in," he said. "I wanted to rest for (Saturday) night."

    The Warriors were impressed.

    "Sura is a really good player," said Jason Richardson, who led the Warriors with 25 points. "He had a lot of adrenaline and energy and you could tell he really wanted to do his best against some of his old teammates."

    Coach Mike Montgomery wasn't pleased with the Warriors' performance.

    "We can't keep playing like that and expect to win in this league," Montgomery said. "Our shooting percentage stands out (33 percent) and we have to shoot better and get better ball movement.

    "Yao Ming changed a lot of things inside, and Sura had a heck of a game."

    Yao had 15 points and a season-high 17 rebounds. Houston, 27th in the NBA in rebounding, had a season-high 56.

    Troy Murphy added 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Warriors.

    Golden State forward Mike Dunleavy missed the game with a bruised lower left leg. Mickael Pietrus replaced him in the starting lineup.

    Game notes

    Golden State is 2-9 on the road. ... The Rockets finished 5-1 on their season-high, six-game homestand. ... No player has had a triple-double in the Toyota Center. ... The last Houston triple-double was by Steve Francis on March 21, 2003, against Golden State. ... Yao's double-double was his team-leading eighth of the season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 83 100
    FGM-FGA 31-94 (.330) 41-85 (.482)
    3PM-3PA 5-20 (.250) 3-6 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 16-20 (.800) 15-21 (.714)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-41 11-56
    Assists 23 21
    Turnovers 7 12
    Steals 6 3
    Blocks 4 6
    Fast Break Points 10 18
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 19 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 23

    Top Performers

    Golden State
    Jason Richardson Richardson
    Points: 25
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Bob Sura Sura
    Points: 24
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0