Evidence that Hakeem and Akeem whipped Jordan's Bulls

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by tinman, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member

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    There is a perception by some members of this board who weren't even embryos when the Dream and Jordan started in this league that Jordan's teams were better than Dreams.

    I'm going to drop some facts for you. Not just scores, but articles so you can vividly read what awesomeness was dropped on the Bulls by our Houston Rockets.

    I'll be the John Connor of this board and send you back in time. I want to terminate any doubt in your minds which team in red was the better team.

    Paper: HOUSTON CHRONICLE
    Date: SAT 10/19/1985
    Section: Sports
    Page: 7
    Edition: 1 STAR

    Rockets roll past Bulls
    By FRAN BLINEBURY
    Staff

    CHICAGO - Just as the wet floor that briefly threatened to cancel the final exhibition game against Chicago dried up, so, too, have many of the questions concerning the Rockets' backcourt evaporated.

    Now while Coach Bill Fitch continues to claim that he doesn't have all his questions answered, there is little doubt that the situation has come much more into focus following two weeks of these glorified scrimmages.

    Further evidence of that was the way Mitchell Wiggins and Allen Leavell dominated the Bulls backcourt in igniting the flame in a 105-99 victory over the Bulls Friday night before a crowd of 9,342 at Chicago Stadium.

    The win gives the Rockets a final 7-1 mark on exhibition season.

    "I guess if you can't be 8-0, you might as well be 7-1," Fitch said. "It's nice, but winning the Grapefruit League doesn't mean anything.

    "What I'm happiest about is that we never had to change our perspective on what we wanted to accomplish all through these games. When we were losing leads, we were able to stick with our kids and get them that experience and still come out on top."

    But more important than a gaudy exhibition mark, the performance of the backcourt over the last fortnight has got to give Fitch - while not the feeling that he's ready to take on the Los Angeles Lakers or Boston - at least a little more peace of mind.

    It was just one more solid performance from Wiggins and Leavell, both of whom have enjoyed very successful training camps. That combination enabled the Rockets to jump out to a 28-11 lead Thursday night in New York and they were the ones who fired up a 26-12 start against the Bulls.

    Wiggins uncorked his outside shot, hitting 8-for-10 from the field against the Bulls and popping in 16 points, while Leavell shot over and darted through the Chicago defense for 10 points and 5 assists.

    Ralph Sampson and Akeem Olajuwon added 10 points each as the Rockets built a 24-point lead in the third quarter, then held off a late Bulls charge.

    Michael Jordan led the Bulls with 31 points.

    While that may leave the Rockets with still a few minor questions - such as who to sit down at the end of the bench as the 11th or 12th man - Fitch has got to be satisfied with a guard rotation that will have Wiggins and Leavell backing up starters John Lucas and Lewis Lloyd, with first-round draft Steve Harris playing the role of the designated shooter.

    "What I have been happy about, "Fitch said, "has been getting the chance to play different combinations of people together and getting to see what they can do in different situations."

    What Fitch has seen is that Lucas, despite any overly offensive tendencies, is still the best ignition key for fast break that the Rockets possess. Meanwhile, Leavell, in training camp, for the first time in three seasons, has played aggressive, smart and heady ball and will not allow the pace of the running game to drop off when he is in the game.

    Lloyd is once again filling the lanes at the one off-guard position, while the rededicated Wiggins has shown an ability to play both backcourt spots and continue to the offensive boards.

    That has left the Harris to concentrate on just one role - the outside shooter - and the rookie has given indications that he'll be able to get the job done.

    With those five apparently locked into jobs, it seems it's going to be a tight squeeze for a job in the final week for Craig Ehlo or Eric Turner. For it is doubtful - especially considering Robert Reid's ability to swing into the backcourt in a pinch - that the Rockets would go with than five guards.

    But the ever-cautious Fitch is still issuing warnings about making conclusions.

    "I think that if I were going to play one game for all the marbles tomorrow, it would be safe to say that John Lucas would be my starting point guard and Lew Lloyd would be at the other spot," Fitch said. "But beyond that, not everything is set.

    "Plus, people like Ehlo and Lloyd can play more than one position. They can go to small forward.

    "We've had some guys show that they can do some things well in the exhibition season and other guys who can do other things. So it's not accurate yet to say that all the questions have been answered yet."

    Paper: HOUSTON CHRONICLE
    Date: FRI 01/16/1987
    Section: Sports
    Page: 1
    Edition: NO STAR

    Rockets stymie charging Bulls for 107-96 win
    By ALAN TRUEX
    Staff

    CHICAGO - A very dangerous thing happened to the Houston Rockets early in the third quarter Thursday night.

    They got a 22-point lead.

    Keep in mind, this is the team that blew a 21-point lead to lose a game to Phoenix a month ago.

    The Rockets got their big lead against the Chicago Bulls and tried to sit on it.

    So the Bulls came back, knocking 18 points off that lead. But the Rockets still managed to win, 107-96.

    The Rockets had to offset a 43-point game by Michael Jordan. They did it by getting 20 or more points from three players: Robert Reid (26), Ralph Sampson (25) and Akeem Olajuwon (20).

    The Twin Towers, Olajuwon and Sampson, with 15 and 14 rebounds respectively, dominated the Bulls inside. Olajuwon blocked four shots.

    But despite a number of impressive individual efforts, it looked as the Rockets might let this one slip away.

    "I saw what was going to happen," Reid said. "We lost that edge, killer instinct. We stood back and watched one man try to take over.

    "It seemed like he was everywhere."

    The one man was, of course, Jordan, who tied his own team record by taking 43 shots.

    He made only 17 of the 43, but he took control of the game for half of the third quarter and most of the fourth.

    "In the end," Rockets Coach Bill Fitch said, "we were getting tired, making errors and dropping the ball."

    One problem is they are shorthanded, following the banishment of Mitchell Wiggins and Lewis Lloyd for cocaine abuse. Also, reserve forward Buck Johnson has missed 11 games with a hyperextended right knee.

    But down the stretch, with Chicago trailing by four, at 88-84 and again at 90-86, Reid hit 20-foot jump shots to keep his team from getting caught.

    Chicago Coach Doug Collins said, "These guys are so big they give everyone a problem. Sampson got a great streak going where he was hitting everything he put up.

    "And then when we tried to force them to hit jumpers from the outside, Reid hit them.

    "They are a poised team, a team that's been to the finals, and the way they played tonight is a sign of a team that's been there before."

    Jordan said, "They played well tonight and controlled the inside. They clogged it up and we couldn't get our inside game going. We let them get too far ahead and then used a lot of energy trying to get back into the game."

    Jordan was slightly off on his shooting and was suffering from a bruised right shoulder. He hit only eight of 19 shots in the first half as the Rockets ran up a 57-48 lead.

    Had it not been for seven turnovers in the first quarter, the Rockets might have buried the Bulls early.

    In the first half, Houston shot 61 percent form the floor (to 40 percent for Chicago), and the Rockets had a 30-17 rebounding advantage.

    It wasn't that the Rockets were unleashing one of their furious fast-break assaults. They simply waltzed to a number of easy baskets as the Bulls were offering no resistance.
    Paper: HOUSTON CHRONICLE
    Date: SAT 02/04/1989
    Section: Sports
    Page: 1
    Edition: 3 STAR

    Rockets take Air out of Bulls' sails/Defense, balance the difference
    By EDDIE SEFKO
    Staff

    It was a night to be Air or be square.

    So the Rockets slicked back their hair, pulled on a pair of glasses with thick, black frames and put on a nerd-inspiring performance.

    It wouldn't have appealed to the taste buds of the beautiful people. But at this stage, the Rockets aren't picky about the nature of their wins. They'll put on plaid pants with striped shirts if it'll help the situation.

    The Rockets successfully contained the glamorous Air Jordan Show with one of their best defensive games of the season to take a 105-98 victory over the Bulls at The Summit on Friday night.

    Defense, the hard-nosed kind, and a methodical, balanced offense - exactly the opposite of Chicago's - were the primary reasons the Rockets were able to bounce back from their loss to the Los Angeles Lakers earlier in the week.

    "We did a great job on the defensive end," said Sleepy Floyd, who had 19 points and 8 assists. "We've had better games, but this was one of our best of the season defensively."

    How good was it?

    Jordan was 1 of 6 in the fourth quarter, when the Rockets stubbornly clutched a lead that bounced from 4 to 10 points.

    Overall, the Bulls were 8 of 21 (38 percent) in the final quarter.

    They also suffered 22 turnovers, most of them the result of 14 steals by the Rockets.

    "Our game was very sound, but our turnovers beat us," Chicago Coach Doug Collins said. "They got 32 points in the third quarter, basically off our turnovers."

    The Rockets took the lead for good early in the third quarter when they scored 8 points in 48 seconds on their way to a 73-59 lead. The Bulls never got closer than 4 points the rest of the way.

    "I think we played great defense," said Akeem Olajuwon, who had 20 points as all five Rockets starters scored in double figures. "That was the difference in the game."

    That and "limiting" Jordan to 29 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds.

    "Limiting" is the proper word since Jordan was 6 points under his average.

    There were no 40- or 50-point outbursts by Jordan, the league's best scorer. He's capable of erupting for enormous point totals without notice. But the Rockets contained him with Mike Woodson providing a solid defensive effort and the rest of the Rockets helping to corral Jordan whenever he shook loose.

    "Our main goal was to get the ball out of his hands," Coach Don Chaney said. "The guy can score every time he touches the ball. So we tried to make him give it up."

    Jordan did, and while Bill Cartwright had 17 points, the Bulls didn't have enough firepower to support their star.

    On several occasions, crisp Jordan passes were mishandled or simply weren't seen coming by the intended recipient.

    "We let that little trap of theirs really affect us," Jordan said. "We didn't play particularly well, but we still had a chance to win down the stretch."

    Indeed they did. The Bulls had stayed even with the Rockets through the first half, which featured 14 ties. Neither team led by more than 3 points in the second quarter.

    Early in the third quarter, the Rockets fell behind 55-52 when Cartwright canned a baseline jumper and converted a three-point play.

    But the Rockets began heating up from the outside with Woodson (7 of 12) and Purvis Short (7 of 12) igniting an 11-2 surge, which landed them a 63-57 lead.

    The smidgen of momentum blossomed into something big, and it didn't take long.

    They got ahead 73-59 and seemed to be on the brink of dusting the Bulls.

    But, as is their tradition, the Rockets couldn't put the visitors away.

    Despite the 14-point lead, the Rockets found themselves nursing an 88-84 advantage with just under nine minutes left in the game.

    A Jordan free throw with 5:47 to go kept the Bulls within 92-87, but only served to set up the play of the game as far as the Rockets were concerned.

    Floyd took an outlet pass on a fast break and went the length of the floor.

    He was fouled on the drive by Jordan and made an incredible, overhead left-handed shot, bringing The Summit crowd to its feet for the first time of the night.

    "When it's rolling," Chaney said, "it's rolling."

    The free throw put the Rockets up 95-87 and the lead became 10 when Olajuwon hit a shot off a spin move moments later.

    The Bulls climbed back into the game behind Jordan, who scored 4 points to help Chicago get within 97-93 with 2:52 to play.

    Thorpe, who scored 17 points, then drove through the lane and converted a three-point play with 2:32 to play, lengthening the lead back to 7 points. The Bulls got within 102-98 when John Paxson hit another 3-point shot with a minute to play.

    After a Rockets miss, the Bulls had an opportunity to get within 2, but Craig Hodges fired up a hasty shot that clanged off the iron.

    Floyd's free throw pushed the lead to 103-98 with 26 seconds to go, clinching the win that moved Houston's record to 26-17.

    Afterward, all the Rockets could muster was a sigh of relief.

    "To lose this game would have really hurt team morale," said Floyd.

    "Now we can put the LA game behind us."
     
  2. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member

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    Paper: HOUSTON CHRONICLE
    Date: SAT 02/04/1989
    Section: Sports
    Page: 1
    Edition: 3 STAR

    Rockets take Air out of Bulls' sails/Defense, balance the difference
    By EDDIE SEFKO
    Staff

    It was a night to be Air or be square.

    So the Rockets slicked back their hair, pulled on a pair of glasses with thick, black frames and put on a nerd-inspiring performance.

    It wouldn't have appealed to the taste buds of the beautiful people. But at this stage, the Rockets aren't picky about the nature of their wins. They'll put on plaid pants with striped shirts if it'll help the situation.

    The Rockets successfully contained the glamorous Air Jordan Show with one of their best defensive games of the season to take a 105-98 victory over the Bulls at The Summit on Friday night.

    Defense, the hard-nosed kind, and a methodical, balanced offense - exactly the opposite of Chicago's - were the primary reasons the Rockets were able to bounce back from their loss to the Los Angeles Lakers earlier in the week.

    "We did a great job on the defensive end," said Sleepy Floyd, who had 19 points and 8 assists. "We've had better games, but this was one of our best of the season defensively."

    How good was it?

    Jordan was 1 of 6 in the fourth quarter, when the Rockets stubbornly clutched a lead that bounced from 4 to 10 points.

    Overall, the Bulls were 8 of 21 (38 percent) in the final quarter.

    They also suffered 22 turnovers, most of them the result of 14 steals by the Rockets.

    "Our game was very sound, but our turnovers beat us," Chicago Coach Doug Collins said. "They got 32 points in the third quarter, basically off our turnovers."

    The Rockets took the lead for good early in the third quarter when they scored 8 points in 48 seconds on their way to a 73-59 lead. The Bulls never got closer than 4 points the rest of the way.

    "I think we played great defense," said Akeem Olajuwon, who had 20 points as all five Rockets starters scored in double figures. "That was the difference in the game."

    That and "limiting" Jordan to 29 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds.

    "Limiting" is the proper word since Jordan was 6 points under his average.

    There were no 40- or 50-point outbursts by Jordan, the league's best scorer. He's capable of erupting for enormous point totals without notice. But the Rockets contained him with Mike Woodson providing a solid defensive effort and the rest of the Rockets helping to corral Jordan whenever he shook loose.

    "Our main goal was to get the ball out of his hands," Coach Don Chaney said. "The guy can score every time he touches the ball. So we tried to make him give it up."

    Jordan did, and while Bill Cartwright had 17 points, the Bulls didn't have enough firepower to support their star.

    On several occasions, crisp Jordan passes were mishandled or simply weren't seen coming by the intended recipient.

    "We let that little trap of theirs really affect us," Jordan said. "We didn't play particularly well, but we still had a chance to win down the stretch."

    Indeed they did. The Bulls had stayed even with the Rockets through the first half, which featured 14 ties. Neither team led by more than 3 points in the second quarter.

    Early in the third quarter, the Rockets fell behind 55-52 when Cartwright canned a baseline jumper and converted a three-point play.

    But the Rockets began heating up from the outside with Woodson (7 of 12) and Purvis Short (7 of 12) igniting an 11-2 surge, which landed them a 63-57 lead.

    The smidgen of momentum blossomed into something big, and it didn't take long.

    They got ahead 73-59 and seemed to be on the brink of dusting the Bulls.

    But, as is their tradition, the Rockets couldn't put the visitors away.

    Despite the 14-point lead, the Rockets found themselves nursing an 88-84 advantage with just under nine minutes left in the game.

    A Jordan free throw with 5:47 to go kept the Bulls within 92-87, but only served to set up the play of the game as far as the Rockets were concerned.

    Floyd took an outlet pass on a fast break and went the length of the floor.

    He was fouled on the drive by Jordan and made an incredible, overhead left-handed shot, bringing The Summit crowd to its feet for the first time of the night.

    "When it's rolling," Chaney said, "it's rolling."

    The free throw put the Rockets up 95-87 and the lead became 10 when Olajuwon hit a shot off a spin move moments later.

    The Bulls climbed back into the game behind Jordan, who scored 4 points to help Chicago get within 97-93 with 2:52 to play.

    Thorpe, who scored 17 points, then drove through the lane and converted a three-point play with 2:32 to play, lengthening the lead back to 7 points. The Bulls got within 102-98 when John Paxson hit another 3-point shot with a minute to play.

    After a Rockets miss, the Bulls had an opportunity to get within 2, but Craig Hodges fired up a hasty shot that clanged off the iron.

    Floyd's free throw pushed the lead to 103-98 with 26 seconds to go, clinching the win that moved Houston's record to 26-17.

    Afterward, all the Rockets could muster was a sigh of relief.

    "To lose this game would have really hurt team morale," said Floyd.

    "Now we can put the LA game behind us."

    Paper: HOUSTON CHRONICLE
    Date: FRI 02/02/1990
    Section: Sports
    Page: 1
    Edition: 3 STAR

    Rockets crush Bulls 139-112/Chicago's newfound unity fades into thin Air Jordan
    By EDDIE SEFKO
    Staff

    If this were golf, the Rockets today would be deflecting accusations that they are sandbaggers.

    Whether or not it was by design, the Rockets set up Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls for a big fall, then slugged them Thursday night with a 139-112 haymaker that must have caught the visitors from the blind side.

    The Bulls, after all, had spent the night before doing homework. They had watched the Rockets on television blowing a fourth-quarter lead, missing nine of their last 10 shots and losing at Dallas.

    It was enough to give anybody a serious case of overconfidence.

    "I think that they thought we would come out timid," said John Lucas. "And we didn't. We came out strong, hitting our shots.

    As a result, fans at the sold-out Summit saw the best of both worlds. Jordan was airborne much of the night, scoring 35 points. And the Rockets got a runaway win.

    It was a great game all the way around, unless you were a Bull.

    "I don't think we showed up," Jordan said. "I don't call that a game. There wasn't any ball played on our part.' Considering the Rockets plowed through the Bulls' defense to a 41-21 first-quarter lead and widened the gap to 34 by the fourth quarter, Jordan was right.

    The Rockets established season highs with 41 first-quarter points, 77 first-half points and 139 points for the game.

    In their eternal pursuit for the .500 mark, they now are 21-23.

    Otis Thorpe had 30 points and 13 rebounds, playing his best overall game of the season. It was his best point production since he had 33 in the fourth game of the season.

    He had loads of help. All five Rockets scored at least 16 points. Akeem Olajuwon had 23 points. Sleepy Floyd had 20 points, hitting all three of his three-point shots in the process.

    Sometimes, the Rockets can look pretty good when they play five-on-five basketball.

    Playing five-on-one, they can look downright invincible.

    They ganged up on Jordan.

    The Rockets breezed by the Bulls like they were nothing but Air. And, on this night, Chicago was nothing but Air.

    The Air Jordan show was magnificent as Chicago's superstar scored 25 points in the first half. He could have posted a remarkable scoring night had the score not gotten out of hand. He sat almost the entire fourth quarter.

    "I have only one thing to say," Chicago Coach Phil Jackson said. "This was one of the longest nights I've ever spent in the NBA. And I've been in the league 18 years.

    "The Rockets were terrific. And we were equally as bad.' Affirmative on both counts. The Rockets hit their first seven shots, fired in 72 percent of their attempts in the first quarter and hardly slowed down the rest of the way.

    For the game they knocked in 62 percent of their field-goal tries.

    "It's really amazing what a day will do for a team," Coach Don Chaney said. "Last night (Wednesday against Dallas) we couldn't buy a basket.

    "Tonight, we shot the ball from all over and made everything.' In a way, it was no surprise. The Rockets continue to be a good home team and an awful one when they step outside the city limits.

    "It's driving me crazy," Chaney said, "because I can't figure out why we can't hit a shot on the road. At home, we take shots and know they are going in. On the road, we're a different team.' But for one night, the Rockets successfully stole the spotlight from Jordan, although he had his moments.

    He scored 15 second-quarter points, mostly on swooping drives to the basket, levitating above and beyond the Houston defense when necessary.

    And while the Bulls may have subconsciously been underestimating the Rockets, Houston certainly got a boost by Jordan's once-yearly visit to The Summit.

    "There's no question that when you've got a great player like him, your intensity level rises," Chaney said. "I was worried about this game because of the fatigue factor.

    "But I don't care how you feel. When you go against somebody like Jordan, you get up for those games.' And the Rockets were never in trouble. They steadily increased the lead. Their shooting was as good as it has been all season.

    "When you shoot the ball like we did tonight, everything falls,"said Mitchell Wiggins.

    Including the Bulls.

    But then, they were set up for the putdown.

    Paper: HOUSTON CHRONICLE
    Date: TUE 03/26/1991
    Section: Sports
    Page: 1
    Edition: 2 STAR

    Rockets snap Bulls' win string
    By EDDIE SEFKO
    Staff

    CHICAGO - It's official. The Rockets are legitimate.

    So legitimate, in fact, they did what 26 teams before them couldn't - win at Chicago Stadium.

    The Rockets overwhelmed the Bulls 100-90 Monday night, extending their winning streak to 12 games and handing the Bulls their first home loss since Dec. 8, when Portland won here.

    In fact, the Rockets might have become league-certified championship contenders with their performance, which was rock-solid from start to finish.

    The Bulls came in with the best record in the NBA. The Rockets came out of the game with more respect and, of course, the victory.

    It was a game the Rockets would have been happy to just get out of healthy. The last time these teams met, Bill Cartwright's elbow smashed Hakeem Olajuwon's right eye.

    It was payback time in the most painful way. The Rockets did it with solid defense and excellent play from their guards.

    Kenny Smith led the Rockets with 25 points; Sleepy Floyd scored 10 consecutive points in the fourth quarter.

    Ahead 85-80, the Rockets got a layup, a free throw, a three-point shot and two free throws by Floyd as they outscored the Bulls down the stretch.

    Floyd's streak kept the Rockets in front 93-86 with less than two minutes to go. He topped it off with two free throws for good measure, and the Bulls resorted to three-pointers, which they couldn't make in the final minute.

    The Bulls were not without incentive. The Rockets had handed Chicago its worst loss of the season in Houston, a 114-92 pounding, and the bulk of the margin was gained after Olajuwon had hit the deck.

    The Bulls must have been as surprised as anybody when the Rockets stormed to a 17-point third-quarter lead, then were still up by 11 going into the final 12 minutes.

    And the Bulls were led, not surprisingly, by a hot-shooting guard.

    Yes, B.J. Armstrong did most of the damage.

    Who?

    The third-year reserve guard from Iowa hit a pair of baskets during Chicago's 9-3 streak to open the final period.

    That got them to 76-71. But the Rockets recaptured a nine-point lead as Olajuwon hit a short fadeaway and Smith drove the lane for a nice layup with 6:44 to go.

    The Bulls called timeout to collect themselves. Michael Jordan had yet to be heard from, sitting out four minutes and going scoreless for another four.

    After the timeout, he knocked in the Bulls' next seven points, but the Rockets kept their focus and their lead.

    If not their cool.

    Jordan and Maxwell got into a mild shoving match with 5:19 to go. Both players received technical fouls, rendering the incident meaningless.

    It had been Maxwell's job all night to stick with Jordan and he had done a decent job of harassing the league's leading scorer, despite what the final numbers would indicate.

    At any rate, after the altercation, Maxwell pumped in a 20-foot jumper for an 84-77 lead.

    Jordan came back on the next possession to get fouled on a quick drive by Maxwell. After the play, Jordan was doing a lot of talking to Maxwell, who simply grinned.

    After that, it became a pressure-packed final four minutes, with the heat on during every possession.

    The Rockets responded just as they have in every game in March. They won.

    In the pre-game hoopla, Olajuwon sat in the visitors' locker room, and the television showed the Rockets' Jan. 3 game against the Bulls at The Summit.

    Did he have any flashbacks?

    "No, look I'm still in the game," Olajuwon said, pointing to the screen. "And without goggles."

    Nobody would have blamed Olajuwon if he'd been a little skittish about going against the Bulls.

    Judging from the first quarter, the nerves must not have been completely steady for Olajuwon. Either that, or the Rockets simply forgot about him because Olajuwon was barely part of the action.

    In the first quarter, Olajuwon was low man among Rockets starters with two field-goal attempts.

    Not surprisingly, the Rockets were trailing 28-22, but it could have been worse. They got a last-minute boost from Floyd, whose three-pointer with three seconds to go put the Rockets in a better frame of mind starting the second quarter.

    The Rockets began the period with a 12-2 surge during which Olajuwon came alive. He hit three consecutive shots, the last of which gave the Rockets the lead 32-30.

    Up to that point, they had been doing a splendid job of putting a ball-and-chain on Jordan. Maxwell had pursued him around the court almost nonstop.

    "You can't just let him go crazy," coach Don Chaney said. "We knew we had to contain him at least somewhat to have a chance."

    Just when the Rockets thought they were doing a good job, Jordan scored eight of the Bulls' last 10 points of the first half.

    The good news was nobody else on the Bulls' squad was hurting the Rockets.

    Meanwhile, Smith was dropping in an occasional jumper and the Rockets' defense was confounding the Bulls.

    The Rockets had 11 steals, usually an entire game's worth, in the first two quarters. Those thefts constituted most of the Bulls' 15 first-half turnovers.

    With so many botched opportunities, it was no wonder the Bulls were in a 51-42 hole at halftime, getting outscored 29-14 in the second quarter.

    And the Rockets, who treated this as a game of playoff-type importance, kept rolling after the intermission.

    The Bulls were limited to four points in the first 5:10 after halftime, shooting 1-for-7 from the field.

    The Rockets could do no wrong. As an example of the kind of roll they were on, Maxwell broke free on a breakaway, but a Chicago defender was closing in.

    Maxwell caught the ball too close to the basket, but scooped up a high, arching flip shot that kissed the glass and dropped through the net.

    Those are the kinds of plays that generate a 63-46 advantage, which the Rockets hd with seven minutes to play in the third period.

    Jordan had yet to make a peep in the second half, but his time would come. He scored six of Chicago's eight points as they crept back within 65-54, but the Rockets, with Maxwell scoring on consecutive layups, moved back ahead by 15 as the quarter wound down.

    While an 11-point lead against Jordan and Co. is not safe, the Rockets had to figure themselves in good shape as they rolled into the fourth quarter with a 73-62 lead.
     
    BHannes2BHonest and Zboy like this.
  3. aussie rocket

    aussie rocket Member

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    you crazy tinman.

    but i love you for it. i love your nostalgic threads (no homo)

    Great to read those old recaps. But, in me at least, you were preaching to the converted a bit...

    I fully believe the Rocks were always > Jordans Bulls.

    whether we're talking late 80's or 90's.

    Akeem, Hakeem and the Rocks all the way.
     
  4. YallMean

    YallMean Member

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    Good to know and BTW there is going to be a new president to replace Bush next year.

    Oh, I am talking about G.W.Bush.
     
  5. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member

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    Paper: HOUSTON CHRONICLE
    Date: FRI 01/31/1992
    Section: Sports
    Page: 1
    Edition: 2 STAR

    Rockets steer past Bulls 105-102/Chicago loses second straight
    By EDDIE SEFKO
    Staff

    For one night, not everybody wanted to be like Mike.

    And while there's no truth to the rumor that Gatorade is going to change its marketing theme to "Be Like Vernon," the Rockets were thrilled with their answer to Michael Jordan.

    Vernon Maxwell had 23 points and did an admirable job of controlling Chicago's superstar. Maxwell also did a great job of controlling his emotions as the Rockets whipped the Bulls 105-102 Thursday night at The Summit.

    The 37-7 Bulls, who lost at San Antonio Tuesday, have lost two in a row only one other time this season.

    The Rockets survived a big Chicago rally that didn't end until Hakeem Olajuwon (24 points) blocked Jordan's 3-pointer at the buzzer.

    It was a frantic fourth quarter throughout.

    The Rockets had the lead for most of the game, but they were far from in control all the way.

    They took an 89-85 lead into the fourth quarter and spent almost the entire period trying to protect it.

    After Chicago's Craig Hodges and Maxwell exchanged 20-foot jumpers, the Rockets were clinging to a 96-91 lead.

    The Bulls then missed five consecutive shots on their next five possessions, the last of which was a baseline drive that Scottie Pippen tried to dunk.

    The ball ricocheted off the iron halfway to midcourt and led to Kenny Smith's layup with 3:31 to play.

    Just 90 seconds earlier, Maxwell had pump-faked from the corner and driven the baseline for a monster jam. Even though the Rockets had consecutive turnovers, the Bulls could not make up ground.

    Up 100-91 after Smith's layup, the Rockets had every reason to feel the game was theirs. Little did they know the fun was only starting.

    The Bulls went on a 7-1 streak with Jordan scoring six of the points, including four on heads-up hustle plays.

    He raced in from beyond the 3-point line to slam in Pippen's missed free throw with 2:02 remaining. He then stole a tipped pass and slammed with 1:47 to play to bring the Bulls within 101-98.



    The wheels weren't coming off the Rockets' machine. But they definitely were wobbling.

    After the Rockets turned the ball over, Jordan hit a tough 12-foot banker to make it a one-point game with 1:01 to play.

    Otis Thorpe followed Sleepy Floyd's missed jumper with a layup with 36.9 seconds to go, but Horace Grant converted from under the basket for the Bulls with 24 seconds remaining, cutting the Rockets' lead to 103-102.

    The Rockets called timeout, and Maxwell was fouled on the inbound play. He made the first free throw, then Rockets coach Don Chaney called his last timeout before the second shot, presumably to set up the last-second strategy, which was to foul the Bulls before getting a chance to shoot the 3-pointer.

    Only one problem. Maxwell missed the second free throw, leaving the Rockets up by just 104-102. The Bulls only needed two points to force overtime.

    The Rockets fouled anyway since they had only four in the quarter. That ran down the clock to 16.6 seconds.

    Pippen missed a drive for the Bulls, and the rebound was tipped out by Thorpe to Avery Johnson, who got the ball back to Thorpe. He was fouled, made one of two free throws, and the Bulls were left with one final gasp.

    It failed when Jordan got the ball in the corner and launched a prayer that was deflected by Olajuwon as the clock expired.

    It was almost like the late '80s at The Summit, back when sellouts were the norm instead of the exception. The sellout crowd was only the second of the season, and it was by far the liveliest of the year.

    The Rockets responded, which was more than they could say in previous chances to shine this season.

    The two biggest walk-up crowds of the season had been for games against Dallas and Detroit. In those games, the Rockets had lost by 20 and 23 points.

    Those are the kind of clunkers that scare off fans, rather than convince them to make a return appearance.

    But against the Bulls, there was no walk-up gate. The game had been sold out for weeks. And the Rockets weren't about to let 16,611 souls get away without giving them a reason to return when tickets are a little easier to come by.

    Before the first quarter was much past the midpoint, the Rockets already had opened up a 20-9 lead. The Maxwell-Jordan matchup was leaning toward Maxwell already as he had eight of the Rockets' points in that stretch and Jordan had only two free throws.

    That trend was irreversible. The Bulls got back in the game with no problem. But Jordan spent almost the entire contest trying to get on track.

    The Rockets got first-half help from several players, including Matt Bullard, who canned a 3-pointer among his five points, and Buck Johnson, who had six points and five rebounds in 16 first-half minutes.

    But it was Olajuwon, Thorpe and Maxwell who carried the bulk of the load.

    When Olajuwon hit a midrange jumper with just under five minutes to go in the first half, it put the Rockets up 57-43.

    Paper: HOUSTON CHRONICLE
    Date: SAT 12/12/1992
    Section: Sports
    Page: 1
    Edition: 3 STAR

    Rockets turn Bulls inside out
    By EDDIE SEFKO
    Staff

    CHICAGO -- The Rockets have caught flak, patched up holes and mended their wounds during the first six weeks of the NBA season.

    All of a sudden, they became Bull-etproof.

    That's the way they looked Friday night when the Rockets overwhelmed the two-time defending world champion Chicago Bulls 110-96 at Chicago Stadium.

    And the impressive thing is, the best team won.

    Call it a validation of the Rockets' leap into the upper crust. Call it a morale booster for a team that had yet to prove anything away from The Summit.

    Call it the Rockets' fourth victory over the Bulls in their last five meetings.

    "It's gigantic," coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "This game is so much more important than just a game in terms of getting respect around the league and gaining confidence in ourselves."

    It remains to be seen if that confidence and respect carry over tonight in Minnesota, but the Rockets started their three-game swing through the wintry northlands with a superb effort.

    Hakeem Olajuwon had 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists as all five Rockets starters hit for 17 points or more. Otis Thorpe had 19 points and rookie Robert Horry had 18 points. Kenny Smith had 17 points and seven assists, hitting all three of his 3-point attempts. Vernon Maxwell had 19 points and did a respectable job of making Michael Jordan work for his 26 points.

    Defense? After giving up 34 first-quarter points, the Rockets held Chicago to 62 in the final three periods. In the second half, the Bulls were 11-for-40 from the field until they hit their final three attempts in junk time.

    It was a dynamic performance for a collective victory.

    When the Rockets fired off a 13-2 run in the third quarter, they took a 71-60 lead. Even when the Bulls bit into the lead and pulled as close as 91-87 early in the fourth quarter, the Rockets responded, rattling off a 19-3 surge that spoke volumes about how strong the Rockets were playing and silenced the sellout crowd.

    "Today, I saw in the papers where Chicago was picked to beat us by 13," Maxwell said. "And what did we win by? Fourteen?

    "This proves that we are an elite team when we play at our best and execute."

    And there's one more requisite, Olajuwon said.

    "We have to play as a team," he said. "When we do that, it makes all the difference. It's a big plus."

    True enough, but when Olajuwon is dissecting an opposing defense like he did the Bulls, everybody can tag along for the ride.

    "They just isolate Hakeem," Jordan said. "He's an All-Star player. He got hot and the way to stop him when he gets like that is simple -- you don't let him get the ball.

    "Because when he does get it, you can't stop him. We have no one who can match up with him. No one."

    Not Bill Cartwright, he of the lethal elbows. Not Scott Williams and certainly not Stacey King or Will Perdue.

    It was precisely the kind of energizing victory that the Rockets got two years ago here, a win that came during a 13-game victory streak. The Rockets (10-6) won their third consecutive game and stopped the Bulls' six-game winning streak at home.

    The Rockets had not beaten anybody of note on the road. Their three road victories were over teams with a collective record of 14-35.

    But a victory over the Bulls at the Stadium is a red-letter achievement, and it was surprisingly easy down the stretch.

    The Rockets had started the game with an offensive explosion, hitting 12 of their first 13 shots. Even so, they were ahead only by three points and they never got any breathing room until the third quarter.

    With the game tied 58-58, the Rockets got a 3-pointer from Smith, a steal by Smith that led to Horry's dunk and Olajuwon's 15-footer. After B.J. Armstrong scored for the Bulls, Horry and Olajuwon converted for a 71-60 lead.

    Horry did a splendid job of shackling Scottie Pippen, the Bulls' talented small forward. Pippen had 22 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, but shot only 8-for-22 from the field.

    The Rockets dodged a bullet in the middle of the fourth quarter when the Bulls outscored them 5-1 to pull within 91-87.

    This is the time when the Rockets usually turn meek and lose their composure. Not tonight. The Bulls had no more rally bullets in their chamber.

    When they needed it, the Rockets came through with a crucial bucket. Olajuwon slammed with 8:03 to go and after an exchange of misses, he curled in a 15-foot baseline jumper.

    On the Bulls' next possession, Olajuwon stole a poorly executed pass from Trent Tucker and fed Maxwell for layup.

    That put the Rockets up 97-87 with six minutes to go. Moments later, Horry rose up for an astounding dunk. Before it was done, the Rockets' lead would bulge to 110-90 with a minute to go.

    When looking at breakthrough victories, this one qualifies.

    "One of the things we've stressed since training camp is that we have to go out and earn respect around the league," Tomjanovich said. "There were a lot of negative things about this team and the only way to change that is to go out and do it, to play smarter, to hang together and take better shots.

    "That's been our rallying point."

    And it has landed the Rockets a spot among the NBA's upper echelon.
    Paper: HOUSTON CHRONICLE
    Date: FRI 01/29/1993
    Section: Sports
    Page: 1
    Edition: 3 STAR

    Rockets stop Bulls, Jordan/Defense keys 94-83 victory
    By EDDIE SEFKO
    Staff

    Rudy Tomjanovich was ecstatic after what might become one of the most important victories of the season. Michael Jordan was slumped in disappointment.

    Yet they reflected on the Rockets' thorough 94-83 slamming of the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night, and came up with the same analysis.

    "We were very focused and very intense," said the Rockets' coach. "I just wish we could be that way against some of the sub-.500 teams. If we could, we'd be sitting up there with a great record right now."

    Countered Jordan, "Maybe if they played us every night, they would have a better record."

    It was just like old times. The house was full, the Rockets were rolling and the Bulls were beaten soundly.

    The Rockets knocked off Chicago in front of the first sellout of the season at The Summit, a gathering that included former President George Bush and a squad of stunned, lifeless Bulls.

    The Bulls lost for the fifth consecutive season in their annual visit to Houston. Only one of those five Rockets wins was a nail-biter.

    Overall, the Rockets have won five of six from the Bulls over the last three seasons. This year's two-game sweep was by an average of 12.5 points.

    Thursday's win was as dominating as one over the twice-defending world champions could be. Chicago needed to score the last eight points just to make it respectable.

    "This is the most unspectacular of all the wins Houston has laid on us," Bulls coach Phil Jackson said.

    Presumably, he meant the Bulls were at their worst. They certainly looked it, although the Rockets had plenty to do with that.

    Chicago shot just 42 percent from the field, had its second-lowest point total of the season and gave up 51 percent shooting to the Rockets.

    Vernon Maxwell led some of the best defense the Rockets have played by clamping down on Jordan. With Hakeem Olajuwon playing goalie under the basket, Maxwell was able to confront and, at times, agitate Jordan into 12-for-27 shooting. Jordan's 26 points were six less than his season average, and none of the other Bulls had their shooting lenses on.

    As a result, the Rockets humiliated the Bulls for much of the game. And they did it without Olajuwon scoring a basket in the second half. But he was ever the force with his shot blocking, intimidation and rebounding.

    When it was done, the Rockets had halted a two-game losing trend before it became one of those all-out streaks.

    "Obviously, this is a very big win for our franchise," Tomjanovich said. "We had our first sellout crowd and after the way we played those last two games, the timing was perfect to do this.

    "Our team needed to get back to this level of intensity."

    The Rockets did what they had to to stump the Bulls. They kept Chicago from getting out on the fast break by outrebounding the Bulls 46-33. The Rockets got good shots and they got to the free-throw line 25 times compared to eight for the visitors.

    And, of course, The Maxwell Spell on Jordan continued.

    Two segments capsulized the entire game. The first came at the end of the first half.

    With the Rockets up 38-34 2:53 before halftime, Scottie Pippen (17 points, 7-for-17 shooting) was called for an offensive foul under the basket. At the same time, Jordan and Maxwell got tangled up and pushed off each other.

    The pair exchanged angry glares and even more angry words. Maxwell could be heard saying: "You're going down. You're going down."

    Jordan responded constantly, although his words were inaudible.

    Maxwell said Jordan elbowed him in the neck. "I just told him if he did it again, I was going after him," Maxwell said.

    What followed was three minutes of impressive one-on-one battling.

    Robert Horry took a nice lob feed from Maxwell, who made the right decision by not trying to force something silly on Jordan, who was guarding him tightly.

    Horry was fouled and sank one of two free throws. Olajuwon connected after a Pippen turnover, but the Bulls came right back with a lob from Pippen to Jordan that resulted in a beautiful slam on a play on which Maxwell was fooled.

    Maxwell then worked on Jordan and was fouled on a move to the basket. That tied the individual score at 1.

    The next two possessions ended in turnovers. Maxwell forced a bad pass by Jordan, then Jordan stole a pass from Otis Thorpe to Maxwell.

    The Maxwell-Jordan scorecard stayed tied; the game certainly didn't. The half, which ended with the Rockets holding a stunning, and well-earned, 48-38 advantage, ended with a Jordan jumper and four Kenny Smith points.

    The Rockets finished the half with a 17-8 run. Jordan said the second period sealed the Bulls' fate.

    "It was frustrating when Houston had a terrible quarter and we had even a worse quarter," Jordan said. "They've got our number right now and Houston is playing extremely well.

    In the third quarter, the Rockets built a 15-point lead, then saw it reduced to 66-60 when the Bulls opened the fourth with a bucket.

    But the Rockets had avoided the pitfall. In the final two minutes of the third quarter, the Bulls were shut out. The Rockets got only two points, but they came in dramatic fashion.

    A bucket by Horry was disallowed when the acrobatic forward hung on the rim to fire in his own missed dunk. That's a no-no.

    But when Thorpe followed Scott Brooks on a fast break, it paid off because Thorpe got a tip-in at the third-quarter buzzer. That bonus bucket changed the tone of the game.

    "Scottie took it to the basket and got nothing," Jackson said. "Then they got a tip-in at the buzzer. That changed the energy."

    The Rockets buried the Bulls with a 12-2 run early in the fourth quarter, a surge capped by Maxwell's 3-pointer.

    The Rockets never had to sweat down the stretch.
     
  6. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member

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    I nominated ERIC B FOR PRESIDENT.

    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/qOl5w6edYdI&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/qOl5w6edYdI&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>
     
  7. ReD_1

    ReD_1 Rookie

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    I guess somebody will in 10-20 year write the same thing, but with different players.
    Hakeem, Jordan era passed, but will be never forgotten.
     
  8. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member

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    Paper: HOUSTON CHRONICLE
    Date: FRI 06/18/1993
    Section: Sports
    Page: 11
    Edition: 2 STAR

    Rockets would pose problems, Bulls aide says

    By EDDIE SEFKO
    Staff

    CHICAGO -- Now that the NBA Finals have turned into a near-rout, the inevitable question is whether any team in the NBA could have been tougher on the Chicago Bulls than Phoenix.

    Assistant coach John Bach didn't hesitate when asked the question.

    "Oh, we've had our troubles with teams," Bach said. "Look at Houston. They've created a lot of problems for us.

    "It's not that we don't have problems. We're mortal."

    The Rockets won both meetings with the Bulls this season, by 14 points in Chicago and 11 at The Summit. The Rockets have won five of the six meetings in the last three seasons.

    It is interesting to note that the team the Bulls have had the most trouble with in the playoffs, New York, is the team with the best center among opponents Chicago has had to face.

    In winning two consecutive championships, the Bulls have faced Kevin Duckworth of Portland and Vlade Divac of the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals.

    Hakeem Olajuwon averaged 23 points and 15 rebounds in the two regular-season meetings against the Bulls this season.
     
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  9. IamKhan

    IamKhan Rookie

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    Hi tinman, thank you for the articles. Just curious, where did you find these articles? I have been trying to find some old articles about the playoff games between the shaq/kobe lakers and the td/drob spurs without any success.
     
  10. Yaozer

    Yaozer Member

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    He doesn't need to find it. He has it all memorized. :)
     
  11. texanskan

    texanskan Contributing Member

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    six star thread
     
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  12. weslinder

    weslinder Contributing Member

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    Greatest thread ever? I think so.
     
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  13. Cohen

    Cohen Contributing Member

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    Should probaby be a sticky for eternity.
     
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  14. Blake

    Blake Contributing Member

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    Once again, Tinman delivers.

    5 stars
     
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  15. Jelle

    Jelle Rookie

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    See, the Rockets would've won the championships anyway. I really would've loved to see the Rockets against the Bulls in the 1993 championship.
     
  16. rubytuesday

    rubytuesday Contributing Member

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    i agree and there is no doubt in my mind that we were better than the bulls. we dominated them. vernon maxwell always did a number on jordan and hakeem was unstoppable.
     
  17. Angkor Wat

    Angkor Wat Member

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    The Greatest Finals Match that never happened. Too sad that we never really got to see it happen. Two of the best players from that era. Regardless of what happened in the regular season, the playoffs would have been completely different. Everyone steps it up in the post season. It's a 7 game series each time.
     
  18. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Contributing Member

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    Wow, I remember reading some of those articles in the paper. Awesome thread.
     
  19. Angkor Wat

    Angkor Wat Member

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    I think a big misconception that people make is that Vernon locked down Jordan. That was not the case. The reason we were able to beat the Bulls so many times was a team effort. MJ averaged 29.1 PPG against the Rockets from 90-93. I guess you can say he contained Jordan but it was more a team effort than anything. MJ was always going to get his, you beat the Bulls by stopping their role players.
     
  20. Dave_78

    Dave_78 Member

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    The Bulls would not have even made it to the Finals at least one of those years that we won the Championship.

    I do remember reading a few quotes from Jordan from various sources that gave me the idea that Mike had huge respect for Dream and also seemed to fear him on the court a little bit. I know for a fact that he thinks Dream was the best Center of his era.
     
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