The Golden State Warriors visited the Houston Rockets on Friday night looking to improve on their 11-8 record and stay in the West's top eight. The Rockets dominated from the tip off and held off the Dubs down the stretch for a 105-83 victory.
James Harden led all scorers with 34 points, but he also made an impact on both ends of the floor by offering surprising tenacity on defense. It was a banner evening for Houston.
The Rockets dominated the first quarter and jumped out to a 31-12 lead. They maintained the gap and led 61-37 at halftime. Dwight Howard had 13 points and 13 rebounds before the first half ended. The Warriors shot 27 percent in the first half. Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes shot 1-of-13 in that half.
In the second half, the Warriors failed to sustain any runs and Houston continued to play strong defense.
Houston got some good news before tipoff when they learned Chandler Parsons would start after missing a couple of games with back spasms. Though Parsons shot just 3-of-13 in the game, his presence was felt on defense as he held Klay Thompson to just five points all night. Parsons also added five dimes, four boards and three steals.
Next up, the Rockets host the Orlando Magic on Sunday, while the Dubs continue their road trip against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.