The Houston Rockets faced the Golden State Warriors in a vital game on Saturday night (Jan. 20). So, Chris Paul decided to put up a vintage stat line. Normally, the point guard makes his mark by scoring and passing the ball around to his teammates. This time around, however, he found himself picking up loose balls on the glass again...and again...and again. By the time the game was over, Paul had scored a ton of points, but also picked up a ton of rebounds. Oh, and the Rockets managed to score the big win.

A surprising line from Paul

James Harden was playing just his second game since returning from an injury, so Paul continued carrying the playmaking load.

He approached triple-double territory, scoring 33 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and dishing seven assists. That middle number is the most surprising, though. As ESPN pointed out after the game, that rebounding total isn't common for the Rockets star. It's been a while since his rebounding numbers were that high.

Paul's 11 rebounds trailed teammate Ryan Anderson's 13 boards but would've led the Warriors. His 33 points did lead both teams, though, as did his six three-point buckets.

After the game, coach Mike D'Antoni praised the efforts of his star point guard, referring to him as a "winner." It certainly proved to be the case on Saturday night, as the Rockets topped Golden State by a final of 116-108.

Victorious Rockets

Heading into Saturday's primetime affair, the Warriors had won 14 consecutive games on the road.

That included seven straight victories in Houston. But the crowd was much more hostile this time around, and the team had plenty to play for. The home team started the game on a roll, dropping 40 points in the first quarter alone. They didn't miss a beat without Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green, who were both serving suspensions for the altercation with the Los Angeles Clippers earlier in the week.

But the night was all about Paul truly emerging as the second star the team needs to compete with Golden State after missing the beginning of the season with an injury. The Rockets now have a 2-1 advantage in the season series against their most fierce Western Conference competitor. With a healthy Harden and two players returning from suspension, they have a chance to find momentum before the All-Star Break.

Houston's next game comes on Monday night (Jan. 22) when they host the middling Miami Heat. Golden State gets an extra day off before hosting the New York Knicks.