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Warriors use big fourth quarter to hold off Rockets 107-98

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

By JANIE McCAULEY

AP Sports Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Just this week, Golden State has handled West powers Memphis and San Antonio and taken down Houston twice.

The next step is wrapping up the No. 1 seed and take some momentum into what they plan to make a special postseason run.

Stephen Curry scored 24 points, Klay Thompson had 20 and Golden State got key plays down the stretch from just about everybody, using a big fourth quarter to hold off the Rockets 107-98 on Friday night.

"I kind of feel like these last four games have all had playoff intensity and we've come out on top of all of them just winning all sorts of different ways," Curry said.

Andre Iguodala's left-handed drive and layup tied it with 7:07 remaining and he finished with 14 points, five rebounds and five assists. Ian Clark hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 5:58 to play before Matt Barnes delivered a clutch basket.

James Harden had another tough shooting night for Houston, held to 17 points while going 4 for 18 from the floor and 2 of 9 from beyond the arc. He also had 12 rebounds and eight assists.

JaVale McGee contributed 13 points and a season-best five blocked shots off the bench in a 10th straight win for the Warriors.

"We have six games left," coach Steve Kerr said. "We don't have the 1 seed locked up yet, so we've got to keep going and we'll see how it all plays out."

Houston took an 85-83 lead into the fourth after officials reviewed Sam Dekker's earlier jumper at the 2:59 mark of the third that was initially called a shot clock violation.

Then Curry and Golden State went to work wrapping up a sixth straight victory at home in raucous Oracle Arena, where an electric crowd booed Harden at every chance as these teams met for the second time in four nights. The Warriors won 113-106 Tuesday at Houston.

Iguodala continued his brilliant stretch - Kerr is calling him the top Sixth Man of the Year candidate - and hit a 3-pointer to beat the halftime buzzer and pull the Warriors within 61-56 at the break as they ended the half with a 10-2 spurt.

This is Golden State's second-longest winning streak this season behind a 12-game unbeaten run.

The Rockets are just 38 of 147 from deep in four matchups with Golden State. Harden is shooting 29.4 percent (20 for 68) his last three games and 7 for 39 from 3-point range in the past four.

"Three days ago at home, we spotted them 17 points and then we got back in the game, and it didn't work our way," Harden said. "Tonight, the same way, we controlled most of the game, we couldn't score the last seven minutes or whatnot."

Draymond Green became the first Warriors player ever with 150 steals and 100 blocks in a season, and the first in the NBA to do so since Dwyane Wade in 2008-09.

Green said Harden pinched him near his right hip at one point, "so I punched his wrist. ... He does it often, actually, which is kind of adolescent." Harden called it "a closed-fist hit."

FRIENDLY GREETING

Former Warriors player and coach Al Attles and longtime NBA coach Bernie Bickerstaff shared a warm embrace and greeting moments before tipoff. They razzed each other at halftime.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Kerr is reigning NBA Coach of the Year. He thinks Houston's Mike D'Antoni deserves the next one.

"I just think what he's done with that team, the way they built the offense around James, they added personnel that made a lot of sense," Kerr said. "He and (GM) Daryl (Morey) worked together last summer and did a great job kind of figuring out the direction they wanted to go. It's clicked. It's worked."

D'Antoni appreciated the kind words.

"It's a tough business and I'm fortunate to have a very good team this year," D'Antoni said.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Houston, which shot 16.1 percent on 3s against Golden State on Tuesday, was 12 for 37. ... Clint Capela grabbed 14 rebounds for the Rockets in a back-to-back following a 10-point loss at Portland on Thursday night.

Warriors: Golden State had 14 blocks. ... Patrick McCaw was a late scratch from the starting lineup because of leg cramps. Barnes started instead. ... Iguodala scored in double figures for a season-best fourth straight game. ... Former Stanford, WNBA and Olympic star Jennifer Azzi was honored after the first quarter and presented with a No. 8 Warriors jersey by Warriors COO Rick Welts.

UP NEXT

Rockets: At Phoenix on Sunday.

Warriors: Host Washington on Sunday. Kevin Durant injured his left knee in a 112-108 loss at the Wizards on Feb. 28.

Updated April 1, 2017

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