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 Yao scores 33 points, Rockets beat Warriors

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PostSubject: Yao scores 33 points, Rockets beat Warriors   Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:12 pm

HOUSTON(AP) Yao Ming has figured out by now
that if he plays aggressively, he'll either score or get fouled almost
every time he touches the ball.Yao scored 19 of his season-high
33 points in the fourth quarter, and Ron Artest added 28 points to help
the Houston Rockets beat Golden State 131-112 on Friday night.Yao,
an 88-percent free-throw shooter, went 17-of-19 from the line and
9-for-9 in the final quarter as Golden State's big men helplessly tried
to defend him."I'm just attacking the rim,'' said Yao, Houston's
leading scorer. "If I catch it in the paint and turn around and draw
contact, seven or eight times out of 10, the referee will give you the
call.''Yao also had 14 rebounds and five assists. Golden State
surrounded Yao with defenders all night, but Ronny Turiaf and Andris
Biedrins both fouled out trying to stop him."Yao plays like he's
8 feet tall,'' said Corey Maggette, who scored 23 for Golden State.
"It's hard for a small lineup to defend him inside and then when we got
in foul trouble, it was impossible to stop him.''And when the
Warriors double-teamed him, Yao found teammates open on the perimeter.
Rafer Alston and Von Wafer scored 18 points apiece and the Rockets went
13-of-21 from 3-point range to hand the Warriors their eighth straight
loss.Stephen Jackson scored 26 points before getting ejected
with 1:35 left. Corey Maggette scored 23 points, and Jamal Crawford
added 22 for the Warriors, who shot 54 percent (45-of-83) from the
field.Golden State coach Don Nelson was ejected late in the
third quarter and Houston finished the game with a 30-11 run to reach a
season-high point total.Yao's three-point play with 7:14 left
broke a 101-101 tie, and Alston drove for a layup to stretch Houston's
lead to five. Yao scored on the Rockets' next trip down to match their
biggest lead at seven."He was a monster in the fourth,'' Alston said of Yao.The
Warriors shot close to 60 percent through the first 3 1/2 quarters,
then had only one field goal in a 3-minute span as Yao and the Rockets
finally pulled away.Yao put back Artest's miss with 5:26 left,
and Shane Battier sank two free throws with 4:45 to go to push the lead
to 114-103. Golden State never threatened again and Jackson was tossed
for arguing a foul call.Golden State shot 60 percent (12-of-20) from the field in the first quarter and led only 32-30.The
Warriors hit seven of their first eight shots in the second quarter,
while Wafer scored the Rockets' first seven points to keep them close.
The seldom-used shooting guard hadn't scored more than 10 in a game
this season.Jackson hit his first seven shots and put Golden
State up 45-39 with a layup. Luther Head, Aaron Brooks and Carl Landry
finished fast breaks with layups over the next minute to tie the game.Turiaf,
third in the league in blocked shots, picked up his fifth foul with
51.7 seconds left in the half and was replaced by Rob Kurz.Battier
hit his third and fourth 3-pointers in the last 38 seconds to give
Houston a 62-57 lead at the break. Turiaf fouled out with 9:10 left in
the third quarter, smacking Yao on a turnaround.Nelson was
ejected after protesting a foul call on Biedrins. Biedrins was whistled
after fighting Luis Scola and Yao for a rebound. Assistant coach Keith
Smart took over on the Warriors' bench.When play resumed, rookie
Anthony Randolph was called for a technical foul after dunking on Yao
and then saying something to the Houston center.Houston led
88-84 after three quarters, even though all five Golden State starters
were already in double figures. The Warriors opened the final quarter
with a quick 9-2 run, but Yao's three-point play with 9:44 left re-tied
it at 93-all."We know how talented Yao is,'' Smart said. "He did a good job and took advantage of us.''Notes:
Warriors G Kelenna Azubuike did not score in 5 minutes after sitting
out Monday's loss to Miami with a sprained left foot. ... Artest had
one steal and has at least one in 19 of 20 games this season. ... The
Rockets are 69-6 when they score 100 points or more at the Toyota
Center. ... Nelson was ejected for the first time this season. He was
also thrown out of a game in Houston last season.

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