OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- It's barely taken a month for Baron Davis
to earn the ultimate star treatment from fans desperate for a
decade to bring good basketball back to Oakland.
They're dangling off the railings to try to reach him, and
already have anointed him their MVP.
Davis scored 17 of his career-high 40 points in the third
quarter and passed for 13 assists, and the Golden State Warriors
won their season-best sixth straight game, 122-117 over the Houston
Rockets on Tuesday night.
"He in a way continues to amaze," Warriors coach Mike
Montgomery said of his All-Star point guard. "He just exudes
confidence and the team picks up on it. He pretty much thinks he
can do anything and he's backing it up."
Jason Richardson added 20 points, including seven straight
during one third-quarter spurt, and five rebounds as the Warriors
scored a season high in points to earn another impressive win over
a playoff-bound team.
This matches the Warriors' best 10-game stretch since April
1994, the last year this franchise reached the playoffs.
"I don't think we're a surprise anymore," Davis said.
"Before, people thought, well, maybe it was a fluke or that
they're just hot right now. I think people are really starting to
recognize our talent and our weapons. Night in and night out we're
going to be in ballgames. We've got eight guys who are capable of
scoring 20 points."
Tracy McGrady had 44 points and seven assists for the struggling
Rockets, who have lost three straight and four of six. They need to
figure things out in a hurry with only seven games remaining in the
regular season to protect their sixth-place spot in the Western
Yao Ming added 23 points and 11 rebounds in his second game
since missing last Friday's loss with a sore right calf, and Bobby
Sura had 15 points and six assists for Houston.
"I was just surprised we brought so little defensively,"
Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "I'm not really concerned with
anybody else. I'm concerned with playing better and playing
The Warriors certainly wish they'd had Davis all season and not
just since the trading deadline, because they're playing a lot like
a team headed to the postseason. In reality, Golden State will miss
the playoffs for the 11th straight season, the longest current
drought in the league.
With the energetic Davis running the point, the Warriors are
going hard to the basket with every opportunity and doing a better
job moving the ball. When Houston hit big shots in the fourth
quarter to try to rally, Golden State matched the Rockets on the
And Davis has the Oakland Arena rocking once again. Some fans
chanted "M-V-P!" when he hit two free throws with 4:42 left, then
gave him a standing ovation when he headed to the bench in the
Davis' big night marked the first 30-point, 10-assist game by a
Warriors player since Jimmy Jackson had 33 points and 11 assists
April 2, 1998, at Houston.
Sura was whistled for a technical by official Bill Kennedy with
19.2 seconds before halftime when he made contact with Warriors
coach Mike Montgomery while trying to go to the bench. Sura, who
spent three seasons with Golden State from 2000-03, got booed every
time he touched the ball in the second half.
"Montgomery and I made some inadvertent contact when I was
walking off the court," Sura said. "His arm brushed me on the
face by accident. I kind of pushed it out of the way."
The officials wouldn't comment afterward, saying it was not a
rules interpretation but a judgment call.
The Warriors lost the first two meetings with Houston this
season and had dropped 21 of 24 to the Rockets at home.
Davis scored 10 of his points and had five assists as the
Warriors shot 50 percent in the first quarter to take control.
Golden State led by as many as 12 in the second quarter, but
McGrady scored 11 points in the period and Houston used a 20-8 run
late to pull within 53-50 at halftime.
McGrady's points were the most allowed by the Warriors this
season, surpassing 38 by Sacramento's Brad Miller on Feb. 2. ...
Davis' 17 third-quarter points equaled the most by a Warriors
player in a period this season. ... The Warriors are 13-7 since
acquiring Davis from New Orleans on Feb. 24. ... Rockets G Jon
Barry didn't make the trip because of back spasms. But his father,
former Warriors star Rick Barry, showed up anyway, not knowing his
son wouldn't be there. ... Golden State rookie Andris Biedrins
played three minutes in the first quarter and had three fouls.
Coming back from a 3-1 deficit was unprecedented in NBA history. But there are other great championship-round comebacks in sports that rival this one.
Draymond Green accepted blame for the Warriors' Finals defeat, while Steph Curry echoed his teammate's sentiments and said the pain from the loss will help Golden State going forward.
Richard Jefferson said that he is retiring after helping the Cleveland Cavaliers win the NBA championship, according to reports.