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[official]This date in Rocket's History

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by tinman, May 8, 2008.

  1. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    Yeah its the off-season. Feel free to contribute to Rocket's trivia
    for all to learn and enjoy!

    back in 1995
    Today is the day after:

    Paper: HOUSTON CHRONICLE
    Date: MON 05/08/1995
    Section: Sports
    Page: 1
    Edition: 2 STAR

    Rockets 95, Jazz 91/NOW, THAT'S CLUTCH/Gutsy Rockets eliminate Jazz, head for Phoenix
    By EDDIE SEFKO
    Staff

    SALT LAKE CITY -- During their run of three championships early in the decade, the Chicago Bulls had a certain gravity-breaker on their side, and the NBA knew better than to ever doubt Michael Jordan.

    After Sunday, the same sentiment applies to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets.

    Who would bet against them after Olajuwon scored 33 points -- including six in a row that put the Rockets ahead for good -- as they finally put a knockout punch to the Utah Jazz 95-91 on Sunday at the Delta Center?

    Nobody's uttering the word "dynasty" yet, but they are giving the Rockets a large dose of credit as the defending NBA champions won a hard-fought first-round series three games to two.

    The Rockets shipped out after the game to Phoenix, where the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series begins Tuesday night.

    As usual, these Rockets got there the hard way. They survived a 10-0 Utah blitz in 90 seconds at the end of the first half. They lived to tell about falling behind by 12 points late in the third quarter.

    They even overcame crummy free-throw shooting (4-of-10) in the first 8:30 of the fourth quarter.

    And when it counted most, the Rockets showed no signs of weakness. They simply played like champions.

    "We came out fighting," said Olajuwon, who averaged 35 points per game in the series. "And this reinforces the confidence we have. If we play together as a team, play to our strengths, it's very difficult for anyone to beat us.

    "This team can do it all again, regardless of the circumstances."

    The Rockets not only beat the Jazz, but the odds as well. They were down 2-1 in the series and pulled out Game 4 with an electric, high-scoring shootout.

    They came to Utah hoping to play a similar up-tempo game. But they proved they could hit the curve by winning a grind-it-out grudge match.

    Along with Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler stepped up to the plate and knocked the stuffings out of the ball with 31 points. Together, Olajuwon and Drexler combined for 67 percent of the Rockets' points and 20 of their 35 rebounds.

    "You have to be strong because I learned a long time ago that people are going to doubt you in this business," coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "You have to have something to believe in.

    "I told the guys I believe in them, we've got to believe in ourselves. We were up against a great team and we were in an up-against-the-wall situation."

    But they came through like champs. They put a team that won 60 games in the regular season on the sideline in the first round. In the process, the Rockets avoided the distinction of being the first defending champ to lose in the first round since 1984.

    When they were done, the Rockets realized it was a struggle worth going through.

    "I feel bad for Utah," Olajuwon said. "They played hard all season. I'm just happy this series is over. That is a championship team we beat. This was the toughest series of them all in the first round.

    "It won't be any tougher than this the rest of the way. That's for sure."

    The Rockets were in the toughest of situations through most of the second half against the Jazz. A 37-17 romp that started before halftime left the Jazz up 71-59 with a minute left in the third quarter.

    It could be charitably said that the Rockets were on the verge of coming unraveled.

    "In the third quarter, we could have fallen apart," Tomjanovich said. "We talked about not letting it rattle us. We didn't splinter off."

    But they cut the margin to seven points going into the fourth period with a Robert Horry slam and a Drexler 3-pointer.

    The Rockets still were down by seven until Olajuwon hit a short running jumper with 4:49 to play that cut Utah's lead to 82-77. That started a 10-zip streak that ended with Olajuwon hitting two free throws and a 15-foot jumper over Karl Malone for an 85-82 lead with 1:44 to play.

    Utah's David Benoit missed two wide-open 3-pointers and another long jumper while the Rockets were assuming command. It was Benoit who had hurt the Rockets periodically in the series when Horry would sag off Benoit to double-team Malone. This time, the strategy paid off.

    Malone, who gave a heroic effort with 35 points and 10 rebounds for the Jazz, scored on a jump hook with 1:26 left, ending a four-minute, 14-second drought.

    But once the Rockets got the lead, they refused to surrender it. Olajuwon hit two more free throws.

    Jeff Hornaceck, who had scored six points in the final 2.8 seconds of the first half to complete Utah's 10-0 sprint, missed one of two free throws and Chucky Brown calmly put in two foul shots with 26.6 seconds left for a four-point Rockets lead.

    Then it became a matter of the Rockets hitting their free throws. Mario Elie hit two to keep the lead at 91-87 with 14.2 seconds left. After a John Stockton miss from the corner, Olajuwon hit one of two free throws for a five-point lead with 9.5 seconds to go.

    Even Malone's desperation 3-point heave with 6.5 ticks showing couldn't rattle the Rockets.

    Drexler was fouled quickly and hit the second of two free throws. Stockton was fouled before he could shoot a potential tying 3-pointer. He made the first free throw to make it 93-91 and intentionally missed the second shot.

    But Drexler rebounded, hit two free throws and the game was history.

    "We knew they were tough," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "They didn't win a world championship because they're not tough. They just kept hanging in there with us. And when we'd get a little bit of a lead on them, we seemed not to be able to make the shots when they were there for us. That's basketball."

    A well-deserved collective sigh of relief signified the end of a tough series and a tough game.

    "If there's a trademark about this team, it's that the guys will never, never quit," said Bob Weinhauer, the Rockets' vice president of basketball operations. "That was never more evident than today. That's the value of this team and Rudy's influence on them. We're down to 10 people, but they went out and did one hell of a basketball job."

    The Rockets needed all of their savvy to survive the Jazz, who had the second-best regular-season record in the league.

    "The championship last year played an important role in this win," said Kenny Smith, who averaged 17.4 points and shot 17-of-27 from 3-point range in the series. "The guys that have been here know what it takes. The guys who are new have heard us tell them about all the different things, the parades and what it takes to get there. And they wanted to be a part of it.

    "We don't believe a team can beat us in a series. They might be able to win a game or two. But in a five- or seven-game series, we don't think anybody can beat us."

    Until somebody proves otherwise, would anybody be willing to doubt Olajuwon and the Rockets?
     
    #1 tinman, May 8, 2008
    Last edited: May 8, 2008
  2. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    For the 2004-2005 season,
    Today is the day after:
    [​IMG]
    Paper: HOUSTON CHRONICLE
    Date: SUN 05/08/2005
    Section: Sports
    Page: 1
    Edition: 4 STAR

    MAVERICKS 116 , ROCKETS 76 / Rockets are history

    By JONATHAN FEIGEN
    Staff

    DALLAS - The Rockets heard the rumble and felt the ground shake, until they looked up to see what was heading their way like roadkill does when it is too late to do anything but know it's over.

    The Mavericks hit the Rockets faster and harder than they had in any game of the series until the Rockets were splattered in their path. As if overwhelmed by the realization that only the season's end was awaiting them, the Rockets finally cracked.

    The Mavericks pounded the Rockets from start to finish, rolling to a 116-76 rout - the worst Rockets playoff loss, Mavericks' biggest playoff rout and most lopsided rout in a Game 7.

    "I'm disgusted," Rockets guard Tracy McGrady said. "I'm real mad. I'm angry. All that stuff. At the same time, I won't hang my head. I will be back next year. I will be back. This is all going to make me tougher. I never will fold. I'll be back. My team will be back and we will come back stronger and better."

    But when they were hit Saturday, the Rockets never came back, never answered, shattering like eggs tossed from Reunion Tower.

    "The feeling I'm left with now is not that we lost but how we lost," guard David Wesley said. "It felt like we weren't even out there.

    "They did what they do. There was so much we weren't doing. Off the dribble, we couldn't guard anybody. That set the tone for the whole game. From the beginning, we couldn't guard them off the dribble. It seemed like we gave them everything they could possibly want."

    The Mavericks became just the third team to lose the first two games at home and come back to win a playoff series, and just the second team to beat the Rockets in a Game 7.

    And when they did so, the Mavericks did it in every way possible, suffocating the Rockets defensively, overwhelming them offensively and doing everything with a poise and confidence the Rockets could not match.

    The Rockets, a team that always had gotten up better and stronger than when it was knocked down, that came back from a 6-11 start to the season and the threat of not getting a playoff spot when it limped back from the All-Star break, had been indestructible.

    On Saturday, the Rockets broke down.

    "They pounded us in every effort area," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "On the boards they were relentless. We weren't able to bring a physical presence that you need to win a game like that. In transition they were obviously much quicker.

    "But the thing that bothered me the most is ... we cracked in every way. (We lost) composure on the floor. It was not befitting of how we played and conducted ourselves this year. And then I think our shot selection was very, very poor in the first half. We dug ourselves a hole. We cracked. In the biggest game of the year, to crack like that was disappointing."

    The Rockets' last chance ended early in the second half when Yao Ming had dunked home a pair of McGrady passes, keeping the Rockets within 13. McGrady pulled up for a 3-pointer that could have reduced the lead to 10, closer than they had been since the first quarter.

    But McGrady missed and the Mavs' Erick Dampier slammed in an offensive rebound, and the rout was on again.

    "Even when they were up 20 in the first half, I was thinking, `We're OK, we're OK,' " Wesley said. "We got it to 15 at halftime, came out, missed our first shot, got a stop, made our second shot, 13. I was feeling we were getting back in this game. I never would have expected it to get to the 20s, 30s and certainly not 40."

    Other than Yao's phenomenal performance, all that the Rockets had done to make the series' first six games spectacular abandoned them. Yao matched his career playoff high with 33 points, adding 10 rebounds and five blocked shots. But McGrady made just 10 of 26 shots, scoring 27 points with seven rebounds and seven assists before sitting out a meaningless fourth quarter.

    The rest of the Rockets combined for just 16 points, making just six of 33 shots.

    Mike James, who helped key the Rockets' Game 6 win, earned rapid-fire technical fouls and an ejection in the last minute of the third quarter, finishing with four points. Scott Padgett, Bob Sura and Wesley, the starters with Yao and McGrady, combined to make just three of 17 shots.

    The Mavericks, meanwhile, were free-stroking from the start. They sliced through the Rockets easily, giving themselves their choice of shots before hitting 41 of 80 (51.3 percent), and half of their 16 3-pointers.

    Jason Terry made eight of 14 shots and all 12 of his free throws to lead Dallas with 31 points.

    From the first minute, the Rockets were blown to bits, unable to defend, unable to shoot, unable to run their offense.

    "It was from when we got off the bus," guard Jon Barry said. "It's tough to explain to get hammered like that in every aspect of the game. It's not the team we've been. It's just very disappointing.

    "There's no easy way to lose a game. It's painful. It's frustrating."

    And it was shocking, from when they saw it coming to long after the game - and the season - was over.

    . . .

    40-point margin of defeat sets NBA record for a Game 7

    Playoff drought continues: Last series win was in 1997

    McGrady, Yao score 60, but good help is hard to find

    . . .

    ROCKETS' WORST PLAYOFF LOSSES

    Pts.Opponent, score Date

    40 Dallas 116-76 5/7/05

    33 Seattle 108-75 5/4/96

    29 Boston 109-80 5/12/81

    25 Seattle 120-95 5/18/93

    24 Phoenix 118-94 5/11/95
     
    #2 tinman, May 8, 2008
    Last edited: May 8, 2008
  3. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    1986,

    http://www.nba.com/rockets/news/millennium_index.html
    [​IMG]
    (May 8, 1986) Hakeem Olajuwon was ejected in the fourth quarter. Then Ralph Sampson and Jim Petersen fouled out in the first overtime, leaving Rodney McCray to lead a makeshift lineup to a 126-122 double-overtime win over Denver in Game 6 of the 1986 Western Conference Semifinals. McCray was able to send the game into the first overtime with a perfect alley-oop pass to Sampson with 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter. After Sampson and Petersen left, the Rockets were forced to go with third-string center Granville Waiters, who contributed a key rebound and basket, and a rotation of guards and small forwards. McCray, who finished with 20 points, made big shot after big shot, including one with 55 seconds to go that clinched the win for the Rockets.
     
  4. abita

    abita Member

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    Why all of them have zombie color arms/hands? :eek:
     
  5. ThaShark316_28

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    Rockets advance to face Seattle after win over Clippers in rd 1. 5/8/93.

    By EDDIE SEFKO
    Staff

    In a city that has been jilted at the playoff altar time after time, the Rockets finally carried themselves and their fans over the threshold of mediocrity.

    The Rockets engaged in some of their best defense at a time when their offense divorced them, outlasting the Los Angeles Clippers 84-80 on Saturday at The Summit in the decisive fifth game of their first-round series.

    The Rockets advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs for the first time since 1987. They will play the Seattle SuperSonics, who beat Utah 100-92 in their fifth game Saturday, in a best-of-seven match starting Monday in Seattle.

    A heroic performance by Hakeem Olajuwon, a timely 3-pointer by Vernon Maxwell and a defense that clogged the Clippers' attack were the primary reasons the Rockets got over the first-round hump.

    "That was no hump," coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "That was a mountain.

    "This was no monkey on our back. It was a gigantic gorilla.

    "You talk about playing not to lose in games like this, but when you haven't been past the first round in a while, it's difficult not to.

    "I'm proud of this team, and the city should be proud. It was a gigantic game for the franchise to get out of the first round. And it was a big game for the city and the sports fans of Houston not to be disappointed again."

    The road to Round 2 was paved by Olajuwon, who had 31 points, 21 rebounds and seven blocked shots. When he finished doing it all, Olajuwon played down his effort and even the whole series.

    "We did what we were expected to do," Olajuwon said. "I'm happy to win the first-round series, but this is only our first step."

    But the journey of a thousand miles starts with that first step.

    The finale of the Rockets' 3-2 victory in the series was highlighted by a dominating third quarter that put them ahead 67-56 and then capped with a thrilling finish in which the Rockets fell behind 80-79 after being outscored 12-2.

    A finger roll by LA's Ron Harper put the Clippers in front with 1:17 to play. Harper was fouled by Maxwell on the play but missed the free throw.

    The Rockets then worked the ball around to a wide-open Maxwell in the right corner. Maxwell, who played 32 minutes in his first full game since returning from a broken navicular bone in his left wrist, had missed 11 of 14 shots. But his bomb swished, and the Rockets went up 82-80 with 56.6 seconds left.

    "I just wanted to make a big shot, and Kenny (Smith) hit me with a great pass," Maxwell said. "The wrist never bothered me today. I'm a competitor, and I love to win."

    Tomjanovich praised Maxwell, who did his part defensively by guarding Harper well. He also wasn't hesitant to release the big shot.

    "The courage and confidence it showed for him to take that last shot is just great," Tomjanovich said. "It's going to be a big boost for Max and his confidence in the next series."

    But the Rockets were not in the clear. LA guard Mark Jackson wheeled into the paint and launched a short jumper that could have tied the game. Otis Thorpe, who had a career playoff high of 17 rebounds, grabbed the miss and threw the outlet to Maxwell, who pushed a pass to Smith, who was getting lonely at the Clippers' end of the court.

    Smith's dunk made it 84-80 with 33.9 seconds to go.

    The Clippers, who shot just 38.7 percent for the game, couldn't even do that well down the stretch.

    Stanley Roberts, who was nothing but a large shadow of his 300-pound self Saturday, missed, as did Danny Manning and Jackson.

    Olajuwon finally rebounded and gave the ball to Scott Brooks, who was ruled to be on the out-of-bounds line.

    The Clippers had the ball, but 3-point shots by Harper and Roberts were off, and the Rockets escaped with the win.

    In the fourth quarter, the Rockets were outrebounded 14-6, had eight turnovers to LA's three, got only 15 shots to the Clippers' 30 and were outscored 24-17.

    But they won.

    "We've seen some ugly basketball at times this year, but that was probably the ugliest fourth quarter of the season," Tomjanovich said. "It's hard to win with a fourth quarter like that, even in the regular season, much less the playoffs.

    "Our offense was horrible. We couldn't even get the ball across midcourt.

    "But the identity of this team has been that we win with defense, and that saved us."

    The Rockets' defense came to life in a third quarter during which the Clippers hit only five of 20 shots and scored just 12 points.

    Olajuwon was at his spinning, juking best in the third quarter, when he had 13 points to go with six rebounds.

    The Rockets had fallen behind in the second quarter and were trailing 52-45 five minutes into the third period. At that point, their shooting was worse than the Clippers'. The Rockets were hovering around 32 percent for the game and were a pathetic 5-for-22 from beyond 15 feet.

    But Olajuwon's 15-footer with 6:33 to go started the Rockets on a 22-4 run to finish the quarter. Though Olajuwon and Smith (19 points) were doing most of the scoring, it was Maxwell's presence that seemed to put the attitude back in the Rockets. They took control and, while The Summit wasn't full, the people who were there had the building rocking.

    As usual, the Rockets didn't allow themselves to have it that easy. Maxwell started the fourth quarter by heaving a 35-footer as the shot clock expired. It was perfect. On the next possession, Maxwell tried a closer 3-pointer and missed, but Olajuwon followed it for a bucket and a 72-56 lead.

    Then, the roof practically caved in.

    "Our guys made a great comeback, and we actually got the lead," LA coach Larry Brown said. "We had a chance to win, but Vernon made the big shot."

    The Clippers looked like the dominant team, though, until Maxwell's shot.

    They scored 10 points in a row to get within 72-66. The Rockets upped the lead to 79-70, but Harper, Lester Conner, Jackson and Manning all sank shots; the Rockets committed two turnovers missed three shots.

    Harper's finger roll could have been a dagger through the heart were it not for Maxwell.

    Instead, as Tomjanovich said, it gave the Rockets a chance to show their pride.

    "We've overcome a lot of obstacles this season," Tomjanovich said. "We showed a lot of heart. In fact, our heart probably won this game more than our skill."
     
  6. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    its reflects their COLD shooting that game!
     
  7. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    Kenny shot 62% from 3 point land against the Utah Jazz! Damn Kenny should teach some of our guys how to do that!
     
  8. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    1999
    - oh an infamous game

    Paper: Houston Chronicle
    Date: MON 05/10/1999
    Section: Sports
    Page: 9
    Edition: 3 STAR
    Rockets vs. Lakers / Late call on Mack fuels conspiracy theory

    By EDDIE SEFKO
    Staff

    INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The NBA conspiracy theory shifted into high gear Sunday.

    Supporters of the argument that the NBA is doing all it can to help Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers inherit the mantel of greatness from Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls received plenty of fuel in the Lakers' 101-100 win in Game 1 against the Rockets.

    Bryant received the gracious end of a controversial officiating call with 5.3 seconds left when referee Ted Bernhardt called the Rockets' Sam Mack for a blocking foul against Bryant, who was trying to make a move toward the basket with his team trailing by one point.

    "That's the play that cost us the game," Mack said. "I could see it if it was a blatant foul or a clear reach-in foul. But I think you've got to let that one go. The best call in that situation would have been a no-call.

    " . . . But the guy (Bernhardt) made the call and now we've got to live with it."

    Which clearly won't be easy.

    "We're right there in position (to win the game), and that call took the game away from us," Mack said. "Hopefully, the next (officiating) crew will use better judgment."

    Bryant appeared to initiate the contact on the play, and both players ended up on the hardwood. But Mack said he thought the officials bailed out Bryant.

    "He tried to make his crossover move, and I moved to stay in front of him," Mack said. "He tripped over his own foot and fell into me. I gave way and got the foul called on me."

    Bryant made both free throws for the winning points. There were a lot of whispers in the Rockets' locker room afterward that it was the same sort of call that Jordan would get before he retired after his sixth NBA championship last June.

    The Lakers clearly have been one of the featured teams in the NBA this year, having appeared on NBC virtually every weekend during the past two months. Charles Barkley, among others, has chided the league and the media for jumping on the Lakers bandwagon. And with Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, the Lakers have two of the NBA's brightest stars.

    But after Bryant's good fortune Sunday, Barkley wasn't in the mood to address the situation.

    "We don't whine about the officiating," Barkley said. "I thought the call on Kobe was a touch foul. But we shouldn't have let it come down to that. Obviously, we don't think it was a good call.
     
  9. AntiSonic

    AntiSonic Member

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    1997

    Hahaha. And things have only gotten worse for the Seattle SuperSonics!

    Paper: HOUSTON CHRONICLE
    Date: SUN 05/11/1997
    Section: Sports
    Page: 1
    Edition: 4 STAR

    Rockets vs. SuperSonics/Drexler treads boards, steals scenes nightly/Veteran willing to play any role

    By MICHAEL MURPHY
    Staff

    SEATTLE - The Rockets were in the midst of a performance in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals Friday night that was getting pretty much the same reviews it always had gotten in the SuperSonics' house.

    Bomb. Stinker. One-star.

    Not exactly boffo box office.

    But one star was all the Rockets needed Friday.

    Just when the curtain was about to drop on what seemed to be another loss, Houston's leading man, Clyde Drexler, came in and delivered another great performance, leading the Rockets to a 97-93 win. The victory allowed the Rockets to regain control of the series with a 2-1 edge and re-establishing their home-court advantage in the process.

    Thanks to Drexler.

    The bright lights were on and it was showtime. And Drexler produced another edition of Masterpiece Theater, shrugging off foul problems to deliver the goods - and the Rockets.

    Drexler went to the bench with 7:37 to play in the game after picking up his fifth foul, a questionable charging call when he and Seattle's Detlef Schrempf collided under the basket with the Rockets trailing by three points. Just more than a minute later, the Sonics had tacked four points on to their lead and appeared to be pulling away.

    It was time for the understudies to step aside.

    Drexler checked in with 6:03 left and drilled a huge 3-pointer seven seconds later to trim the Sonics' lead to 89-85.

    "I was wide-open," said Drexler with a laugh. "When the adrenaline is pumping and you're wide-open, you're not going to get a better shot than that. You have to let it fly."

    But Drexler was merely warming up the crowd for the big finale.

    With time running out in a tie game, Drexler took the ball on the baseline, and while two defenders swarmed over him, he pulled out a reverse spin and fell away, launching one of those quirky, praying mantis-looking shots that settled into the basket with 18.5 seconds left for a 95-93 lead - and the game, effectively.

    "That's my favorite move," Drexler said. "If you're going to take that shot (in that situation), then you have to take a shot you're comfortable with. That's really all you think about. Luckily it went in."

    As the ball dropped through the net, more than 17,000 screaming critics fell into dead silence.

    Bravo.

    "With each and every game, it gets more and more fun," said Drexler who finished with 19 points. "This is what I play for. If they told me I couldn't play in the playoffs, I'd retire. This is the ultimate competition. That's what I love to do - compete and be on the best team in the world.

    "The challenges are what drive you. You live for that. If you don't, then you're in the wrong business. I live for that. The tougher the challenge, the better you perform."

    It wasn't Drexler's best performance in the series, merely the most dramatic. His teammates have been running hot and cold, but Drexler has been mind-numbingly consistent, delivering near triple doubles every game. But few seem to notice.

    Even after Game 3, Matt Maloney drew well-deserved raves for his offense and Mario Elie got equally deserved publicity for his fourth-quarter defense on Schrempf and Gary Payton.

    But that's the way it's been this season for Drexler, who often finds himself the straight man in Charles Barkley's ongoing comedy act. It matters little to Drexler.

    Whatever's needed, he's willing to deliver.

    "It's like you've been the CEO of a company for 10 years, and then you move into a different division," Drexler said. "You have the skills to do everything, but you can be a role player, where it's easier to do less. That's what it's like.

    "If more is needed and you get the opportunity, then you have to take advantage. But if not, you stick to the game plan and let everybody do what they do well."

    Like against Minnesota in the opening round of the playoffs, when the Timberwolves geared their offense to stop Drexler. He wound up averaging just 14 points on 39-percent shooting, but that was just a case of Drexler honing his chops in the off-off-Broadway production.

    "You just have to play your role," Drexler said. "They (the Timberwolves) are not as good as the Sonics. They didn't take away so many of our strengths. The Sonics are going to take away a lot of your strengths, so now you really have to just play basketball."

    Which is what Drexler does better than most. Need a passer? Drexler is averaging almost seven assists in the playoffs. Need a rebound? More than six per game. Need a clutch basket? Just look at Friday's game. Despite all his numbers, Drexler just shrugs and calls himself a "role player."

    "The reason I'm here is that after carrying the team so many years in Portland, it was hard work," he said. "I'm 34 and I'll be 35 next month, so I don't think I can carry a team. The extra work is not something I was looking for. This is a great opportunity to be a role player on a very good team. It's a significant role, but I'm still a role player."

    Right. And Olivier is just an actor.

    Drexler was asked to sacrifice his scoring when Barkley arrived. Even for a player of Drexler's abilities, it's a difficult adjustment from night to night when you're called upon to be a scorer in one game, a rebounder the next and then a passer in the next.

    Just changing mental gears is difficult, much less the physical demands.

    "It's tough to play at a very high level when you don't get that consistent rhythm. I'm not going to deny that," Drexler said. "A lot of games, you never get into a rhythm. But this team is good enough where we win anyway. Then there are the times when even when you have it going, you don't get touches. You'll hit eight in a row and not touch it again.

    "One thing you have to remember is that not only is this a veteran team, but it is a team with a lot of talent. As long as we win the game, it doesn't really matter. I'm not trying to win a scoring title - I'm not trying to do anything but win.

    "We have all kinds of weapons. You're allowed to play your role, and that's the way the game should be played. I really believe that. I believe Charles is a role player and Hakeem is a role player because they're not asked to do everything. For us, all of us, that's a unique situation. That's a bonus."
     
  10. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    God was a Rockets fan this night


    Paper: HOUSTON CHRONICLE
    Date: SAT 05/14/1994
    Section: Sports
    Page: 1
    Edition: 3 STAR

    Rockets 118, Suns 102/REBOUND/Maxwell-led Rockets bounce back on Suns

    By EDDIE SEFKO
    Staff

    PHOENIX -- Rockets owner Leslie Alexander and his wife, Nanci, are passionate activists for animal rights. Maybe they used their clout to get the Rockets off the endangered species list.

    Fighting for their playoff lives, the Rockets played their best 48 minutes of the Western Conference semifinals to take a rejuvenating 118-102 victory Friday night at America West Arena.

    Vernon Maxwell made sure the Rockets stayed alive with relentless drives.
    Forsaking at times his outside shot, Maxwell drove for an assortment of baskets, scoring 31 points in the second half (34 overall) and leading the Rockets back into the series.

    "Sometimes, I have these kind of nights," Maxwell said afterward. "I put up some shots that I thought somebody else ended up tipping in and then I'd hear my name and couldn't believe it. We had to be more aggressive going to the basket. Somebody had to step up."

    And that somebody was Maxwell as the Rockets cut Phoenix's lead to 2-1 and will try to knot the best-of-seven series Sunday afternoon.

    Game 5 will be Tuesday night at The Summit.

    Maxwell was superb, as was Hakeem Olajuwon, who had 26 points and 15 rebounds.

    "We are back," coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "It was a character win. We were backed into a corner and sometimes, you have to believe you can win to get a win. Phoenix still has the home-court advantage, but the pressure is on them now. And it's a lot different playing when you're under pressure."

    Don't the Rockets know it.

    "Everybody was nervous in the locker room before the game," Maxwell said. "You could tell it. It was so quiet."

    But Maxwell and Co. weren't quiet in the second half. He had hit seven of 11 shots in a third quarter in which the Rockets overcame a 12-point deficit to lead by two.

    They had started cutting the Suns to ribbons defensively. Maxwell, Sam Cassell, Robert Horry and Mario Elie made a living in the second half of driving into the interior and launching up relatively easy short shots or passing off to Olajuwon or Otis Thorpe for an easy bucket.

    When Maxwell scored the Rockets' first six points of the fourth quarter, they were up 84-82 and had the Suns on the run.

    After Kevin Johnson, who led all scorers with 38 points, missed, Olajuwon scored a layup on a nice feed from Cassell for a four-point edge, although he missed the free throw after being fouled.

    As the Suns showed one of their few flaws in this series by missing two of four free throws, the Rockets scored on every possession, getting an Elie drive, an Olajuwon jumper from eight feet and Maxwell's 3-pointer with 7:42 to go to jump ahead 93-84 and stun the crowd.

    The lead flip-flopped from seven to nine points for the next five minutes. The Rockets were up 103-94 when Johnson hit two free throws with 3:22 to play.

    The Rockets worked the shot clock down and Maxwell delivered a 3-pointer with 3:11 to go, putting the Rockets up 106-96. That shot also gave him 26 points in the second half, eclipsing the previous Rockets record for points in a half in a playoff game.
     
  11. alexdapooh

    alexdapooh Contributing Member

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    Here's a good one... Clyde Drexler goes bonkers on Jackass O'Donell and gets ejected in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semis vs Phoenix.

    Best quote: "But mild-mannered Clyde Drexler is no Vernon Maxwell when it comes to temper tantrums, so no one could have expected the situation that occurred Tuesday night in the Rockets' 130-108 loss to the Phoenix Suns in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals."

    Ended up falling 0-2, but the good guys prevail in 7


    Paper: HOUSTON CHRONICLE
    Date: WED 05/10/1995
    Section: Sports
    Page: 3
    Edition: 3 STAR

    Rockets vs. Suns/Drexler ejection a surprise blow
    By TERRY BLOUNT
    Staff

    PHOENIX -- Had the former starting big guard for the Rockets been on the floor, few people would have been surprised when he got ejected early in the second quarter.

    But mild-mannered Clyde Drexler is no Vernon Maxwell when it comes to temper tantrums, so no one could have expected the situation that occurred Tuesday night in the Rockets' 130-108 loss to the Phoenix Suns in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

    Drexler was ejected at 10:12 of the second quarter on a shocking double-technical call by official Jake O'Donnell, a longtime nemesis of Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon.

    But it was Drexler who paid the ultimate price when O'Donnell tossed him after whistling Drexler for a questionable clear-path foul on Phoenix guard Don Majerle. Drexler turned the ball over on a bad pass, then reached out as Majerle went by, barely touching him.

    Drexler uttered, "You don't know what the . . . you're calling" when O'Donnell was on the other end of the court, but O'Donnell motioned a "T" immediately.

    Drexler was stunned, disbelieving what had just happened. In a rare moment of anger, Drexler screamed at O'Donnell as he started walking toward the veteran official, who then gave Drexler the second technical to send him to the showers.

    "I tried to grab Clyde to keep him from getting that second technical," said Rockets forward Chucky Brown. "But I couldn't hold him. He was really mad. I've never seen him like that. It's just not like him to get that upset, but something pushed him over the line."

    Drexler slammed into the shoulder of Phoenix guard Danny Ainge as he moved toward O'Donnell. Houston guard Mario Elie and Brown held Drexler back for a moment. Drexler then briefly escaped and ran at O'Donnell, who had his back to Drexler on the sideline.

    But Elie raced to grab Drexler, and Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich made the best defensive play of the night for Houston by blocking Drexler's path to O'Donnell.

    Drexler had scored nine points in the first 14 minutes of the game when he walked to the dressing room. He left the arena before halftime, with his wife, Gaynell, without saying a word.

    Drexler's teammates were furious about what had happened when the Rockets were whistled for four technical fouls in the first half of the game, but they were guarded in their statements, fearing further action against the team or Drexler.

    "It hurt us," guard Kenny Smith said of Drexler's ejection. "But too many bad things happened to us to say that one thing was the difference."

    Olajuwon got the first technical when he questioned O'Donnell about a traveling call with 5:07 to go in the first period, seven minutes before Drexler's double technical. Sam Cassell was whistled for a "T" with 2:13 left in the first half.

    "I didn't know what was going on out there when Clyde left," said forward Robert Horry. "But we let the bad calls get to us, that's obvious. You can't do that. We have to play beyond what the referees do. But we lost our focus tonight and the Suns took over."
     
  12. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    Oh man, I remember that!
    he was mad as a "GAZELLE!"

    hahaha

    people who think this years team was 'screwed by the refs' NEED to read this article.
     
  13. rrj_gamz

    rrj_gamz Contributing Member

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    Funny you post this as I just went home for lunch and on ESPN2 they showed the Boston Vs. Rockets Championship series...Man, I was a youngster back then, but all those great memories came back...F'n Boston...
     
  14. AntiSonic

    AntiSonic Member

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  15. plcmts17

    plcmts17 Member

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    My personal favorite Houston Rocket's game of all time. :)
     
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