OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The high-scoring Houston Rockets relied on defense for a change to earn a victory that will look far better in the standings.
Chandler Parsons scored 26 points, James Harden had 20 points and 11 assists and the Rockets overcame a horrendous shooting performance to beat the Golden State Warriors 94-88 on Friday night.
"We definitely had some positive steps in our defense," said Harden, who shot 3 for 17 from the floor. "On the road, playoff-atmosphere game, it shows the type of camaraderie we've got and the kind of togetherness we're building."
Jeremy Lin added 15 points and seven rebounds to help Houston improve to 3-0 against his former team this season in a matchup for Western Conference playoff position.
Omer Asik added 17 rebounds for the Rockets (34-29), who are one game behind the Warriors (35-28) for sixth place in the conference.
"That's important," Lin said. "I actually didn't even think about (the tiebreaker) until today. But at the end of the day, if we don't take care of business from now until then we can forget about the tiebreaker."
Stephen Curry had 24 points and eight assists and Klay Thompson scored 22 points for Golden State, which fell to 2-1 during its season-long seven-game homestand. David Lee added 16 points and five rebounds for the Warriors despite bruising his right knee in the first half.
The Warriors shot 37.9 percent from the floor, while the Rockets were held to 36.5 percent. But Golden State was outscored 21-12 in the final quarter.
"I thought at times we were careless. I thought at times we were too passive," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "We didn't put the pressure on them. We settled. I think that was the difference. We settled."
The Rockets rallied to score the first nine points of the fourth quarter, going ahead 82-76 on Francisco Garcia's 3-pointer. Curry and Thompson each connected from beyond the arc sandwiched around another Houston basket, then the Warriors tied the game at 86 on Harrison Barnes' layup with 3:50 remaining.
Harden made 3 of 4 free throws over the next two possessions to lift the Rockets to an 89-86 lead. Lee's dunk off a pretty pick-and-roll pass from Curry brought the Warriors within a point before Harden made another from the line to extend Houston's lead to 90-88 with 1:09 to play.
After Barnes missed a mid-range jumper, Lin got Curry in the air and drew a foul. Lin, cut by the Warriors last year before breaking out with the New York Knicks, made both free throws.
Then Curry missed an open 3-pointer following a timeout, and Jackson declined to foul the Rockets after his players didn't immediately rush to get a whistle.