HOUSTON (CBS/AP) — The Houston Rockets’ big men dominated Golden State on Thursday, with one of the NBA’s greatest centers clapping in approval from his courtside seat.
Rookie Chandler Parsons had 20 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, Samuel Dalembert added 15 points and 10 boards and the Rockets routed the Warriors 109-83 on the same night the franchise honored Hakeem Olajuwon and Houston’s championship teams of the 1990s.
Goran Dragic added 17 points and nine assists for the Rockets, who outrebounded Golden State 48-31, blocked six shots and scored 58 points in the paint.
“When you stay big and they go small, you’ve got to really make them pay,” Houston coach Kevin McHale said. “You’ve got to be able to block shots and really control the paint and we were able to do that.”
Richard Jefferson scored 14 points and David Lee added 12 for the Warriors, who’ve lost five of their last six games.
“To win games, we have to be the hardest working team on the floor every single night,” Golden State coach Mark Jackson said.
The Rockets maintained their hold on the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference by beating Golden State for the 13th time in the last 15 meetings. The Warriors have lost seven straight games in Houston dating to December 2007.
Olajuwon, the NBA’s career leader in blocks, joined former Rockets teammates Clyde Drexler, Mario Elie and Robert Horry for the pregame unveiling of a mural honoring Houston’s two championship teams in 1994 and ’95.
The quartet sat courtside with owner Les Alexander as the current Rockets took control of the game.
Houston hit 11 of its first 14 shots, most of them from close range, to quickly build a 14-point lead. Scola started 5 for 6 from the field and flipped in an easy hook shot for a 30-16 lead.
“There were a lot of guys open,” Scola said. “We were talking early about cuts, and how we can get something going. It’s good when you make up a play, or you talk about something, and then it works. It gives you a lot of confidence and it opens up a lot of things after that.”
Golden State rallied in the second quarter against a Houston lineup of mostly reserves. Jefferson finished a fast break with a dunk and swished a 3-pointer during a 17-5 run that cut the deficit to 37-35.
Dragic and Parsons answered with back-to-back 3-pointers and the Rockets extended the lead again. Parsons, Scola and Dragic were all in double figures by halftime and Houston led 56-47. The Rockets scored 34 points in the paint in the first half.
“When you have athletic big men, you don’t have to always go small against other teams,” Dalembert said. “I saw an opportunity to go in and just go out there and kill them on the boards.”
Scola started the second half with a three-point play, following a hard collision with Lee. Scola broke free for a layup on Houston’s next possessions, as the Warriors continued to give up easy baskets underneath.
Nate Robinson was called for a flagrant foul when he wrestled down Dragic on a breakaway. Dragic landed hard on his tailbone and slid into the base of the stanchion, but he stayed in the game.
Houston’s left-handed point guard then threw a perfect alley-oop pass to Dalembert for a dunk that made it 68-53 lead five minutes into the third quarter. Dragic sank a 3-pointer later in the quarter to stretch the lead over 20 for the first time.
Dragic also had nine of the Rockets’ 23 assists. He was making his seventh straight start in place of Kyle Lowry, who’s recovering from an illness.
“Goran’s playing great, you can’t even complain,” Parsons said. “No doubt we want Kyle back, but we haven’t missed a beat with Goran, he’s passing the ball, making big shots and really running our team well.”
The Rockets outrebounded the Warriors 15-4 in the third quarter and took an 84-67 lead to the fourth. Houston’s reserves kept control in the final quarter, and rookie Marcus Morris’ mid-range jumper with 4:19 left put the Rockets over 100 points for the sixth time in eight games.
NOTES: Rockets G Kevin Martin sat out for the sixth straight game with a right shoulder strain. … The Rockets have won 27 consecutive games when holding their opponent below 90 points. … Golden State signed free agent center Mickell Gladness to a 10-day contract. … Warriors C Andris Biedrins (strained groin) sat out for the second straight game.
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