Originally posted by macalu
when was the last time Cat hit a game-winner? let me rephrase that. when was the first time Cat hit a game-winner?
Actually, his first time was just a few games into his rookie season. I believe it was at Golden State and he hit a 3 to win:
Barkley gives newcomer his shot / Mobley sinksgame-winner
By JONATHAN FEIGEN
February 7, 1999
OAKLAND, Calif. - No matter how many similar moments come for Cuttino Mobley - and he provided all sorts of indications they will - the Rockets rookie will remember Saturday night. It was his first.
With the Rockets slipping quickly toward 0-2, Mobley took a pass from Charles Barkley and never hesitated. His top-of-the-arc 3 -pointer swished with 19.1 seconds left, and the Rockets and their team of veteran stars rode their last of four draft picks to an 86-84 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
Almost as soon as the basketball cleared the net, Barkley had Mobley in a bearhug. Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich joined him to hug his rookie's head. And if Mobley did not clearly demonstrate what Tomjanovich would call his "courage" with the shot, he already had when he asked his coach for the ball.
"I wanted the shot," Mobley said. "I was saying to coach, `Iso,' to get me an isolation play. I knew he wouldn't do it. He would go to the great players. But I wanted the shot."
Instead, the Rockets went inside to Barkley, who had controlled almost all of the second-half comeback. But though Mobley said Barkley's pass showed the veteran's confidence in him, Barkley said it didn't. That is the Rockets' offense, he said. It just worked out that the ball ended up in the hands of a rookie, all the better if he is a rookie bold enough to expect the last shot.
"I didn't have confidence in him," Barkley said. "He was open. I didn't even know it was him. But that young fella has some talent."
But the shot did not put away the game. Barkley and Matt Maloney doubled Muggsy Bogues to force a turnover. And after a Maloney free throw, the Rockets got their win when Tony Delk missed a last-second 3 -pointer.
Barkley finished with 18 points and 20 rebounds. Mobley had 13 points, making four of seven shots and all three of his 3 -point attempts.
"It was a great win," Barkley said. "We didn't want to go 0-2."
After taking over in the third quarter against the Lakers, Barkley got the Rockets out of an 11-point hole in the fourth against the Warriors. Barkley scored 12 consecutive Rockets points, hitting jump shots that forced the Warriors to come after him outside, then going inside to draw fouls on three consecutive drives down the court.
In between, Barkley set up Matt Bullard for an open 3 , twice came up with steals, and grabbed four rebounds, all in a five-minute stretch of the fourth quarter. When he made two free throws with 5:49 left, the Rockets led 81-77.
"I was going to be aggressive," Barkley said. "Coach got on me at halftime. He said I wasn't being aggressive. I said, `I'm tired, coach.' But I was a lot more aggressive in the second half."
But Barkley missed consecutive free throws and the Warriors rallied to a tie at 82. Mobley had a fast-break drive slapped away by Adonal Foyle and on the next three possessions, each of the Rockets' Big Three - Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon and Scottie Pippen - posted up and missed.
Pippen, who finished with 17 points, missed an open 3 with 1:26 left, and though the Warriors had been unable to do anything with the opportunities the Rockets left them, with 1:06 left, John Starks drove inside, Barkley stepped up to help and Starks passed to Foyle for a slam and an 84-82 lead.
Foyle drew a charge on Barkley, but when the Warriors threw the ball away, the Rockets had another chance. They went back to Barkley, but when he drew the double team, the pass went out to Mobley quickly and the rookie never hesitated.
"It was a big shot, the biggest of his NBA career," Tomjanovich said, still beaming. "It was a great read by Charles. I've got to find out what he's eating, in a back-to-back to get 20 rebounds. I know the kid's got courage. He really played well."
Long before that shot, the Rockets had to work to get in position to win after a horrid third quarter.
The Rockets started well in the second half, a Pippen drive and Barkley tip giving them a 51-47 lead. But after missing five consecutive shots with a turnover, the Warriors took off on a 13-2 run, with Starks, acquired in the Latrell Sprewell trade, taking over.
Starks scored nine points in two minutes. Center Erick Dampier added a pair of baseline jumpers, and in eight trips down the court after Barkley's tip, the Rockets could manage only a free throw each by Bullard and Olajuwon.
The Warriors had taken a four-point deficit and turned it into a seven-point lead. Even after Mobley briefly interrupted the Warriors' run with two free throws, the Warriors got a jumper from Donyell Marshall and a 3 -pointer by Chris Mills for a 67-55 lead with 2:51 left in the quarter.
The Rockets' offense became so labored, the Rockets went eight minutes between field goals.
Othella Harrington finally followed a missed 3 by Bryce Drew for a three-point play that cut the Warriors' lead to 67-62.
The Rockets made just three of 13 shots in the third quarter, and two of those were off missed shots.