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Houston stifles Golden State in first quarter en route to win
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Dwight Howard totaled 22 points and 18 rebounds in the Houston Rockets 105-83 rout of the Golden State Warriors from Toyota Center.
The Rockets jumped out to a comfortable 31-12 lead after the first quarter and cruised the rest of the way. The 12 points Golden State put up in the first on 4-of-20 shooting was the lowest output against Houston in any period this season.
"I thought that we came out and really got after them" said Houston head coach Kevin McHale. "I thought James (Harden) really did a nice job."
Harden led Houston with 34 points as the Rockets broke out of a two-game slide. Harden surpassed the 30-point mark for the third time in four games.
Terrence Jones added 16 points, 10 boards and three blocked shots in the victory.
Stephen Curry paced Golden State with 22 points. Harrison Barnes had 14 and Kent Bazemore took advantage of a season-high 17 minutes with 12 points on 4- of-6 shooting.
"There is no magic formula but we have to play hard and play better, especially on the road," said Curry. "It�s frustrating."
The Warriors' trio of Curry, Klay Thompson and Barnes missed all 11 shots they attempted during the decisive first period, while Howard matched Golden State with nine rebounds himself.
Curry scored five straight early in the second, but Houston kept its lead in double figures behind Donatas Motiejunas, who came off the bench and scored five himself, including transition slam on a feed from Harden.
Harden's three-point play early in the third gave the Rockets their biggest lead at 65-37, and the hosts were never challenged after that.
The Warriors have lost six of nine ... Houston outscored Golden State 54-36 in the paint ... Golden State, which entered the contest making 10.2 3-pointers per game on a league-best 43.7 percent, shot just 2-of-16 from the arc in this one.
12/07 01:56:33 ET