Dwight Howard scored 18 points on six shots, hitting all seven of his free throws to lead Houston to a 116-112 victory in Golden State. The Warriors, who are no strangers to comebacks, overcame a 13-point second-half deficit and took a one-point lead in the fourth quarter, but couldn't cool off the hot-shooting Rockets.
Houston hit 12 three-pointers, with seven different players connecting on a long range attempt, and it shot a hair under 50 percent from the floor. Chandler Parsons contributed 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting and James Harden led all scorers with 26 points.
Three Warriors -- Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut and David Lee -- recorded double-doubles and the team out-rebounded Houston, 56-32, but they turned the ball over 18 times and shot just 6-of-22 from long range. Stephen Curry had 20 points and nine assists but fouled out late, effectively ending Golden State's rally.
The nets were set ablaze in the first quarter. The teams combined for 23-of-42 from the field for 59 points. Harden's dunk at the end of the first capitalized an exciting first 12 minutes:
That early hot shooting halted for Golden State in the second quarter as Houston jumped out to a 13-point lead. The Warriors shot just 7-of-17 in the second quarter but closed the gap to 10. Lee scored on a roll to the rim with time expiring to bring the score to 58-51, the halftime count.
In all, Houston hit seven shots from behind the arc in the first half, while Golden State connected on just two. Lee led the way for Golden State with 17 first half points and Parsons led Houston with 14. Klay Thompson and Curry combined for just 4-of-12 from the field for 12 points.
Four minutes into the third quarter and Golden State was within two. That is, until, Parsons intercepted a pass at the top of the key and finished an and-1 on the other end. Moments later, Francisco Garcia netted a three-pointer and then Harden slammed in a one handed tomahawk jam to extend Houston's lead to 10. The Rockets went into the final period with a 82-73 lead.
The Warriors regained the lead 85-84 with just under eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter when Marreese Speights finished a shot as the shot clock expired. Speights played a big part in Golden State's rally, scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter. From there, the game seesawed back and forth over the next several minutes.
With just under 1:20 remaining in the game and the Rockets up three, Patrick Beverley hit a step back jumper just inside the three-point line. He hit a floater on Houston's next possession and the Rockets never looked back.