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Warriors use big fourth quarter to hold off Rockets
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OAKLAND (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 24 points, Klay Thompson had 20 and the Golden State Warriors got key plays down the stretch from just about everybody, using a big fourth quarter to hold off the Houston Rockets 107-98 on Friday night.
Andre Iguodala’s left-handed drive and layup tied it with 7:07 remaining and he finished with 14 points, five rebounds and five assists. Ian Clark hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 5:58 to play before Matt Barnes delivered a clutch basket in a game with a playoff feel.
James Harden had another tough shooting night for Houston, held to 17 points while going 4 for 18 from the floor and 2 of 9 from beyond the arc. He also had 12 rebounds and eight assists.
JaVale McGee contributed 13 points and a season-best five blocked shots off the bench in a 10th straight win for the Warriors, who are determined to earn the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
Houston took an 85-83 lead into the fourth after officials reviewed Sam Dekker’s earlier jumper at the 2:59 mark of the third that was initially called a shot clock violation.
Then Curry and Golden State went to work wrapping up a sixth straight victory at home in raucous Oracle Arena, where an electric crowd booed Harden at every chance as these teams met for the second time in four nights. The Warriors won 113-106 Tuesday at Houston.
Iguodala continued his brilliant stretch — coach Steve Kerr is calling him the top Sixth Man of the Year candidate — and hit a 3-pointer to beat the halftime buzzer and pull the Warriors within 61-56 at the break as they ended the half with a 10-2 spurt.
Clint Capela grabbed 14 rebounds for the Rockets in a back-to-back following a 10-point loss at Portland on Thursday night.
This is Golden State’s second-longest winning streak this season behind a 12-game unbeaten run.
The Rockets are just 38 of 147 from deep in four matchups with Golden State. Harden is shooting 29.4 percent (20 for 68) his last three games and 7 for 39 from 3-point range in the past four.
Draymond Green became the first Warriors player ever with 150 steals and 100 blocks in a season, and the first in the NBA to do so since Dwyane Wade in 2008-09.
Former Warriors player and coach Al Attles and longtime NBA coach Bernie Bickerstaff shared a warm embrace and greeting moments before tipoff. They razzed each other at halftime.
Kerr is reigning NBA Coach of the Year. He thinks Houston’s Mike D’Antoni deserves the next one.
“I think Mike will probably get it,” Kerr said. “I just think what he’s done with that team, the way they built the offense around James, they added personnel that made a lot of sense. He and (GM) Daryl (Morey) worked together last summer and did a great job kind of figuring out the direction they wanted to go. It’s clicked. It’s worked.”
D’Antoni appreciated the kind words.
“It’s a tough business and I’m fortunate to have a very good team this year,” D’Antoni said.
Rockets: Houston, which shot 16.1 percent on 3s against Golden State on Tuesday, was 12 for 37. “Looking at the film, we had 24 uncontested 3s and we just sat there and no one’s around us 24 times, we made four of them,” D’Antoni said before the game. “If we do that tonight, we lose.”
Warriors: Patrick McCaw was a late scratch from the starting lineup because of leg cramps. Matt Barnes started instead. ... Kevon Looney was unavailable for a second straight game with a strained left hip. ... Iguodala scored in double figures for a season-best fourth straight game. ... Former Stanford, WNBA and Olympic star Jennifer Azzi was honored after the first quarter and presented with a No. 8 Warriors jersey by Warriors COO Rick Welts.
Rockets: At Phoenix on Sunday.
Warriors: Host Washington on Sunday. Kevin Durant injured his left knee in a 112-108 loss at the Wizards on Feb. 28.