OAKLAND -- Don Nelson didn't want to hear anything about knocking on his old team's door. And he had a point.
With a chance to draw within a half-game of seventh place in the Western Conference standings -- a spot currently held by the Dallas Mavericks -- the Golden State Warriors instead fell a full game closer to the ninth-place Denver Nuggets.
Tracy McGrady scored 26 points and three teammates added 16 or more as the Houston Rockets held on for a 109-106 victory over the Warriors at Oracle Arena on Friday night.
All five Golden State starters finished with at least 15 points, led by Baron Davis' 27 and Monta Ellis' 24, and Al Harrington (14) and Mickael Pietrus (13) both set season-highs in rebounds. But the Warriors fell behind early in the fourth quarter and despite tying the score on a couple of occasions, never could regain the lead down the stretch.
That left the Warriors (42-26) just 1½ games ahead of the Nuggets (41-28), who were 125-114 winners Friday over the New Jersey Nets.
Luther Head nailed two free throws with 1.1 seconds left and Rafer Alston knocked away a desperation inbounds pass by Stephen Jackson with 0.6 ticks remaining to seal Golden State's second loss by three points or less this season.
Davis nailed a 27-footer from above the top of the key as the shot clock wound down for a 97-all tie at the 2:25 mark. However, Bobby Jackson responded with a 3-pointer of his own to put Houston back in front at 100-97, and the Rockets extended their lead to 104-99 behind two free throws from Shane Battier with 55.1 seconds to go.
Golden State closed to within one point, but Alston drained two free throws at the 12-second mark for a 106-103 lead, and after Davis missed a trey, Carl Landry hit one of two for the last of his 17 points and a 107-103 lead with 6.2 seconds left.
Davis brought the crowd of 19,824 to its feet with a desperation 3-pointer with 3.8 seconds to go. However, Head nailed his two foul shots, and Jackson's cross-court pass couldn't reach its destination.
Houston (47-22) came in having lost two consecutive games in the wake of a franchise-record 22-game winning streak.