Houston Rockets (15-8) at Golden State Warriors (13-10), 10:30 p.m. (ET)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets hope to have a short memory when they get back to work Friday night against the Golden State Warriors in the continuation of a three-game west coast road trip.
The Rockets started the trek on Thursday in Portland and dropped a 111-104 decision to the Trail Blazers. Dwight Howard recorded 32 points and 17 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to keep the Rockets from losing for the third time in five tries following a five-game win streak.
"It seemed like every time we would close the gap, they came down and got a great shot," Howard said.
James Harden scored 25 points and Chandler Parsons added 14 for Houston, which made only 5-of-20 shots from 3-point range and fell to 5-5 on the road.
Houston closes out the road swing Sunday in Sacramento and is three games behind San Antonio for the Southwest lead.
Golden State is coming off Wednesday's 95-93 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, as Steph Curry finished with 33 points and 10 assists and made 13 of his 25 attempts from the field. He helped the Warriors erase an 18-point deficit and Draymond Green's 3-pointer with 49.9 seconds left made it 93-92.
"He's a great player and an all-time great shooter," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said of Curry. "I've seen Steph Curry every single day take that shot hundreds and hundreds of times, thousands of times, so when the curtains open up you expect it to go in."
David Lee chipped in 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Harrison Barnes scored 17 points and Andrew Bogut added six points to go along with 18 boards. Klay Thompson was held to 11 points in the win, Golden State's fourth in the past six tries. Lee has posted three straight double-doubles.
Golden State signed center Hilton Armstrong earlier on Wednesday and he could make his debut Friday. Golden State is 16-6 in the month of December dating back to last season (4-2 this season).
Center Jermaine O'Neal will undergo arthroscopic surgery Friday to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist. A timetable for the 18-year veteran's return will be determined once the procedure is completed.
The Warriors, who own a 7-2 home record, hope to slow down a Rockets team averaging an NBA-best 107.3 points per game and have allowed the opposition to reach 100-plus points in nine of the last 11 games.
Houston downed Golden State, 105-83, on Dec. 6 in Space City and has won six of seven and 21 of the last 28 meetings between the teams. The Rockets are 10-4 in their last 14 trips to Oakland.