Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 12/17

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

Rockets 117

(44-31, 22-16 away)

Warriors 122

(29-45, 16-20 home)

    Coverage: FSSW

    7:30 PM ET, April 5, 2005

    ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    HOU 18 32 34 33117
    GS 26 27 36 33122

    Top Performers

    Hou: T. McGrady 44 Pts, 5 Reb, 7 Ast, 4 Stl

    GS: B. Davis 40 Pts, 5 Reb, 13 Ast, 5 Stl

    Golden State wins 9 of 10

    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.

    They beat the Seattle SuperSonics on Sunday and have won nine of 10, including victories over Sacramento and Phoenix. Troy Murphy and Derek Fisher added 15 points each for the Warriors.

    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 Conference standings.

    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 harder."

    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 other end.

    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 waning seconds.

    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.

    Game notes

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 117 122
    FGM-FGA 45-91 (.495) 39-80 (.488)
    3PM-3PA 8-25 (.320) 11-29 (.379)
    FTM-FTA 19-19 (1.000) 33-41 (.805)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-43 9-36
    Assists 21 29
    Turnovers 15 10
    Steals 8 11
    Blocks 4 3
    Fast Break Points 15 21
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (3/0) 23 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 1 13

    Top Performers

    Golden State
    Tracy McGrady McGrady
    Points: 44
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 0
    Baron Davis Davis
    Points: 40
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 13
    Stl: 5
    Blk: 0