With­out ill James Har­den, Rock­ets hold off War­riors 118-112

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OAK­LAND, Calif. (AP) — Even with­out NBA scor­ing leader James Har­den, the Hous­ton Rock­ets took it to Golden State from the very start.

Eric Gor­don scored 25 points with four 3-point­ers, Chris Paul con­verted two free throws with 1:08 left on the way to 23, and the Rock­ets out­played the War­riors with­out the ill Har­den for a 118-112 vic­tory Satur­day night.

Stephen Curry’s 3 with 1:57 to play pulled the War­riors to 114-108 and his two free throws at 1:26 made it a four-point game be­fore Hous­ton came through at the line.

Kevin Du­rant scored 29 points and Curry added 25 with five 3s, nine re­bounds and seven as­sists, but the War­riors had their five-game home win­ning streak snapped in a matchup of West pow­ers who met in the 2018 West­ern Con­fer­ence fi­nals won in seven games by Golden State.

You can come in here and win on a Mon­day night in Fe­bru­ary or a Tues­day night in Novem­ber or De­cem­ber,” Paul said. “But in the play­offs is when you have to beat a team four out of seven times. It’s great tonight that we won this but in two days y’all will for­get this. We all will.”

Early in the fourth, Golden State’s Dray­mond Green ex­ited the game with a sprained left an­kle af­ter grab­bing at his foot in clear pain from step­ping on team­mate DeMar­cus Cousins’ foot.

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