“It was a good win,” Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. “That’s a tough game to play because they keep coming up and down the court and coming at you. You start thinking you have to shoot it quick, too.”
Hayes had 14 rebounds, 13 points and 11 assists for the Rockets, who remained two games behind Memphis for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. With the crowd cheering him on, Hayes missed several chances to get the triple before his jumper with 6:26 left clinched it.
“The fan support was great,” Hayes said. “The guys were really cheering me on for this achievement and once it was over, it was like the biggest relief that I’ve had in a long time.”
Adelman was excited about Hayes’ performance.
“I can’t emphasize enough the improvements he’s made offensively to be more than just a screener. He’s becoming a great passer. We saw that tonight. He attacks them. It’s a pleasure to watch a guy like that with his work ethic and everything he does is just really terrific.”
Even Warriors coach Keith Smart offered some admiration for Hayes.
“It was great to see their crowd get behind him when he was going for the triple-double,” Smart said. “Everyone was with him and they are very proud of the type of player he is.”
Courtney Lee, starting for injured Chase Budinger, scored 25 points and Luis Scola added 20 for Houston.
“That’s the one thing that coach emphasized today,” Lee said. “He said the team that’s going to win is the one that is going to get down and get stops. We were able to do that today.”
Dorell Wright led the Warriors with a career-high 34 points, David Lee had 19 and Stephen Curry finished with 16.
“It’s OK (career high) but it’s a team game and we lost,” Wright said. “We didn’t do what we wanted to do. There are no lessons learned, it’s just basketball.”
Houston hit 12 of 26 attempts from 3-point range, led by Martin’s 4-for-7 effort.
The Rockets took a 66-57 halftime lead and stretched it to 92-76 with 3:16 to go in the third quarter.
Golden State led only once at 16-15 in the first quarter and took advantage of a 3:31 scoreless streak by Houston to tie it at 57 with 2:20 to go in the second. Two free throws by Monta Ellis, a three-point play by Lou Amundson and a basket by
Al Thornton rallied the Warriors to the tie.
Lee hit a 3-pointer to put Houston back ahead, and Martin followed with a three-point play and a 3-pointer to keep the Rockets in the lead at intermission.
Scola ignited the Rockets in the first quarter, scoring eight of Houston’s first 11 points. He had 14 in the opening quarter and the Rockets took a 36-33 lead despite the fast-breaking success of Wright, who got six early points on fast breaks and had 10 after one quarter.
Hayes got the second triple-double in as many games for the Rockets. Kevin Lowry had 28 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists Monday against Utah.
“This is a painful time we are in,” Smart said. “Houston is fighting for a playoff spot. We’re obviously not going to any dance this season. A young team has to learn to step up as a team, not an individual.”