http://www.nba.com/rockets/news/weve-got-your-big-boy-pants-right-here .. ...We've Got Your Big Boy Pants Right Here December 05, 2012 1:24 am EST Greg Smith's career-night helps lead Houston to thrilling 107-105 win over Lakers Jason Friedman Rockets.com HOUSTON - The Lakers spent Tuesday night in a desperate – and ultimately futile – search for their big boy pants. As for Greg Smith and the Rockets, they came away feeling cozy, comfy and right at home thanks to a great set of genes. Riding a career-high night from their second-year center and a massive boost from fellow reserves Carlos Delfino and Toney Douglas, Houston committed grand larceny while overcoming a 17-point second-half deficit to stun the Lakers 107-105. Houston’s bench was critical to the comeback on the night when the club’s starters simply couldn’t shoot straight, outscoring Los Angeles’ second unit 59-20. And no player was bigger down the stretch for the Rockets, both literally and figuratively, than the 6-10, 250 pound Smith who poured in 13 of his career-high 21 points in the decisive fourth quarter. “Greg is just country ox strong,” said Rockets acting head coach Kelvin Sampson after the game. “That’s just an ox strong kid. The good Lord gave him some great genes and you can’t move him.” In many ways, Tuesday’s tilt was a coming out party of sorts for the 21-year-old with catcher’s mitts for hands, as he more than held his own against the game’s preeminent big man, Dwight Howard, all while devouring nine rebounds (four on the offensive end) to go along with his career-high point total – all in just a little more than 24 minutes of work. But make no mistake; this sort of performance from Smith has been on the horizon for quite some time. The Fresno State product has made the most of his limited minutes this season and actually leads the Rockets in Player Efficiency Rating. He’s been an absolute beast on the offensive glass, a superb finisher around the rim and his defense against the pick-and-roll has been outstanding. To be sure, he’s still very raw in so many ways and still has a long way to go – what 21-year-old doesn’t? But what’s been most impressive of all when it comes to Smith’s development is just how far he’s already come since arriving in Houston as a fresh-faced, green-as-can-be rookie back in February. “Greg’s kind of a pet project,” said Sampson, when asked about Smith’s growth. “We’ve put a lot of time in with Greg. The guy who showed up (in February) didn’t know whether he was on foot or horseback. He was just here. I’m not even sure he knew what the D-League was. He sure didn’t know where it was.” Navigationally-challenged or not, Smith so resoundingly dominated the D-League during his time with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers that he made it impossible to ignore the potential inherent within his massive frame. With quality bigs so tough to come by, so the Rockets had little to lose in rolling the dice and continuing to work with the undrafted rookie. And Smith was savvy enough to take a look around and grasp the key that lies at the heart of any sort of sustained success. He saw Luis Scola and Patrick Patterson working to the point of exhaustion every day in an effort to improve. He watched Chandler Parsons go from second-round anonymity to starter and that Parsons’ response to that promotion was to work even harder. The light bulb came on at that moment for Smith, as it does for all young players who come face to face with the realization that God-given talent can only take you so far. So when last season ended, Smith said sayonara to summer vacation and made the Toyota Center practice court his home, putting those great genes to work in an effort to get stronger, quicker, smarter and more skilled. To get better. All in an effort to ensure he would be ready when called upon; to not just contribute but to be a difference maker when his team needed him most. “We were here all summer,” said Smith, recalling the offseason’s worth of work that made this moment possible. “When the season ended, we were off for a week and then got right back to it. After today, it feels good that I did that. I could have gone, been with family, working out still but … here, with the coaches, you know what they want and … after today I feel like that was the best decision of my life that I did that. “All along I knew I had it in me. The coaches knew I had it in me, too; they had confidence in me. So I knew, back then, that if I had a chance to get in the game … and get that one moment, I’d go out there and take it as much as I can and I did that tonight.” Did he ever. Greg Smith went toe-to-toe with the game’s best on the big stage and emerged with a performance and win he will never forget. So let the Lakers keep looking for their big boy pants. Tuesday night belonged to the great genes – and hard work – of Greg Smith. ........ Click the link to read the quotes and rest of the article.