HOUSTON -- Once Don Nelson got thrown out, Baron Davis took over.
Davis either scored or assisted on six of Golden State's first eight baskets of the fourth quarter to kick-start the late surge.
"Any time we're in the fourth quarter and we're trying to get some buckets, we'll just put the ball in Baron's hands and we start playing off him," Jackson said. "That's been highly successful for us."
Nelson was ejected in the second quarter for arguing with referee Bill Kennedy and the Rockets were positioned to win their third consecutive game without Tracy McGrady, who's out indefinitely with a sore left knee.
But the Warriors said they were inspired by Nelson's outburst.
"When our coach got thrown out, we felt like, 'Now it's really us against the world,' " Harrington said. "That's the way we played the second half."
The Warriors trailed 80-75 after three quarters, then hit six 3-pointers in the first nine minutes of the fourth to pull ahead. They hit 14 of 25 shots, including 7 of 13 from 3-point range, and didn't commit a single turnover in the final quarter.
"We were working our way out of playing a poor game," Davis said. "That's what we were able to do in the fourth quarter -- just take care of the ball, get good shots and get some defensive stops."
"In the third quarter, I felt like the game was in our hands," said Yao. "Then, in the fourth quarter, they ran us out."
Sharp-shooting Steve Novak made his first appearance for Houston this season early in the second quarter. Novak spent a month in the developmental league before the Rockets recalled him on Dec. 16. Novak scored eight points.
The Warriors led by 10 early in the second quarter, but got sloppy and the Rockets finished with a 22-8 spurt to take a 56-52 halftime lead.
In the final minute of the half, Nelson was ejected. Nelson was complaining to the officials earlier in the quarter because he thought the Warriors were getting called for more fouls than the Rockets were.
When Andris Biedrins was whistled for fouling Alston on a drive, Nelson rushed to midcourt and started screaming in Kennedy's face. Kennedy quickly gave him two technicals and Nelson stormed off the court. It was his first ejection this season.
"He was doing it for a purpose," Jackson said. "He's not going to get thrown out for nothing. He's a smart coach, probably one of the smartest coaches in the league. Any time he's going to get kicked out of a game, that's motivation for us and we definitely took heed."
Assistant Keith Smart took over Nelson's coaching duties.
Alston scored seven points in the first four minutes of the third quarter and the Rockets stretched their lead to 67-57.
Golden State got its 21st turnover when Matt Barnes dribbled into traffic and lost the ball with 3:01 left in the third quarter. About that time, Davis told his teammates they were about to hit their stride.
"I said, 'We've been sloppy all game,' " he said, " 'but we're working our way out of it.' "
Davis hit a 3-pointer 15 seconds into the fourth quarter, then sank a pull-up jumper two minutes later to tie the game at 84. Ellis dropped in a short shot over Yao with 8:35 left to give Golden State an 86-84 lead, its first since the first half.
Jackson sank two 3-pointers later in the quarter to propel Golden State over 100 points and extend the lead to 11.
The Warriors outrebounded Houston 47-34. The Rockets were averaging 45 rebounds per game, third in the NBA.
- Rockets G Steve Francis sat out with tendinitis in his quadriceps. The Rockets said Francis was out indefinitely and would not travel on Houston's next road trip to Boston and Orlando.
- Rockets G Kirk Snyder also missed the game for personal reasons. Coach Rick Adelman did not elaborate before the game.
- Harrington recorded his third double-double of the season.