This time at Oracle Arena, it was the Warriors who made plays in the clutch. Leave it to wily veteran Jermaine O'Neal to deliver the biggest moment, meeting young Chandler Parsons at the rim to block the potential go-ahead dunk and help preserve the Warriors' 102-99 overtime win against Houston on Thursday night. The 35-year-old O'Neal's defense helped limit Rockets center Dwight Howard to 11 points on 4-for-13, and it was his help defense in blocking Parsons that saved the day. "Dwight is an animal down there, a force," Warriors guard Stephen Curry said. "But JO is as well. JO was up for the challenge. He made it known before the game he was ready for it. "It was huge to see that youth come out." Curry provided the shot that sent the game into overtime, scoring on a driving layup with 3.2 seconds left that hung on the rim before falling to tie the score at 89. The shot answered James Harden's, a step-back jump shot with 6.9 seconds left that put the Rockets ahead 89-87. The Warriors, who in their previous home game could only watch as LeBron James devastated them with a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer, avoided that fate again as Harden missed from long range as time expired in regulation. Harden scored a game-high 39 points, but ended up overshadowed by Curry's 25 points and a turn-back-the-clock moment from O'Neal that helped stop the Rockets' winning streak at eight games. Playing with a surgically repaired right wrist and in the lineup in place of an injured Andrew Bogut, O'Neal denied Parsons cutting in for a dunk attempt off a pinpoint pass from Harden with 23.8 seconds left in overtime and the Warriors leading 96-95. "Guys are giving what they have," said O'Neal, who played a season-high 37 minutes. "That's going to be our motto these next 27 games."
Warriors beat Rockets in overtime, 102-99
Oakland Tribune | Feb 21