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Chron: Rockets' victory over Hornets a real yawner

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Rockets34Legend, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. Rockets34Legend

    Rockets34Legend Contributing Member

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    Wow, what a surprise. Us having the smallest home crowd of the season? Who would of thought that? :rolleyes:

    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/sports/2937563

    Rockets' victory a real yawner
    Yao scores 21 in front of season's smallest home crowd
    By JONATHAN FEIGEN
    Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle


    This time, it really seems the 2006 All-Star Game will be in Houston. No kidding. This is not a test.

    So with the landing of the grand occasion having moved from "certain" to "sure thing" to "no doubt about it" to official, the Rockets were free to go another way Tuesday night.

    They played the No-Star Game.

    With Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming generally caught in double teams or zones, the Rockets pulled away for an 89-81 win over the New Orleans Hornets by moving the ball in their most prolific fourth quarter of the season.

    "It's amazing," said Rockets point guard Andre Barrett, who had 10 of his career-high 14 points in the fourth quarter. "Last year, I was looking at players like Tracy and Yao in the All-Star Game. I was in college, and I was running to get home to watch that game, and now I'm sitting right next to Tracy in the locker room. We're out there competing with each other, all three of us."

    The Hornets, still able to tell the difference between the Rockets' All-Stars and themselves, left Barrett and Bob Sura open in order to send defensive help against Yao and McGrady.

    Yao came closest to that All-Star thing, scoring 21 points with nine rebounds, the first time in this season's 19 games he has led the Rockets in scoring and rebounding. McGrady added 18 points but made just seven of 19 shots.

    But even with Yao and McGrady less than dominant, the Hornets seemed outmanned from the start and led only once, 2-0, as the Rockets matched their longest home winning streak — two games — of the season.

    "I think we're doing a better job finishing the game," McGrady said. "Mentally, we're stronger and more into the game. We're doing a better job of executing. Tonight, for a little while, we took a couple of steps backward. We would score and then walk up and down the court not realizing those guys were pushing the ball up our back, and they scored a couple of times. But I think mentally we're getting stronger, and we're doing a better job of finishing out."

    With so many players out with injuries, the teams seemed to be competing for best-dressed bench. And there were times when that might have been a more entertaining duel for the 10,923 at Toyota Center, the smallest crowd of the season even after it was inflated by NBA commissioner David Stern's entourage.

    But while back spasms kept Jim Jackson out and wounded knees had Charlie Ward and Tyronn Lue on the Rockets' injured list, the Hornets have been devastated by the losses of All-Stars Baron Davis and Jamaal Magliore, former All-Star Jamal Mashburn and key forwards Rodney Rogers and David West.

    Still, the Rockets never could quite pull away. They had an 11-point lead cut to two in the first half, a 13-point lead reduced to one in the third quarter, and a 12-point lead dropped to five in the fourth quarter.

    But after New Orleans closed within 75-70 with 3 1/2 minutes left, the Rockets did not miss another shot. After so many wins and losses in which the Rockets stumbled to the finish, they scored on each of their last eight possessions.

    "We're a machine," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said with sarcasm dripping. "We're like Drago from the Rocky movie."

    McGrady began that eight-possession streak with consecutive jumpers, and the Rockets rolled by moving the ball away from double teams to find open shooters.

    "I don't want to force anything out there," McGrady said. "I think my guys were doing a good job of knocking down shots for me, making the extra pass when it's needed."

    Barrett and McGrady each drained consecutive jumpers. Barrett sank a free throw before passing to Bob Sura for a shot that with 31.5 seconds gave the Rockets a finally safe eight-point lead.

    "We're still working the kinks out and getting in the right spots to be able to make plays when we have an advantage on the weak side," said Sura, who had eight points, eight assists and five rebounds. "We figure that when (McGrady and Yao) are not shooting the ball, they're going to have two or three guys hanging around them, and it's going to make it easier on all of us."

    The Rockets might not have had Barrett in mind "to make teams pay" but always thought they could generate offense among the double teams Yao and McGrady draw.

    It has not always worked that way. But they did find Tuesday that sometimes things that seem no-doubt-about-it certain actually do work out.

    jonathan.feigen@chron.com


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Rockets Summary

    Jackson ailing

    Jim Jackson strained every time he moved in the Rockets' locker room Tuesday night. But despite the tightness in his back, Jackson said he hopes to return to the lineup Thursday against San Antonio.

    Jackson injured his back on Sunday when he was getting out of a car. He received treatment that night and went to a chiropractor on Monday. The help was only temporary, however. On Tuesday morning, Jackson felt another back spasm and was sent by trainer Keith Jones for an MRI, which Jones said looked identical to the one Jackson had last season after experiencing back spasms.

    As soon as Jackson arrived at Toyota Center Tuesday, he sought treatment. Jones said Jackson is listed day-to-day and could practice today.

    "I know Jim is going to try to get back as quickly as possible," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "And really when you're dealing with injuries, you got some guys who can deal with pain better than others. I know he'll fight through as hard as he can. And really, what more can you ask of a guy, but to do what he can do."


    Culture clash

    As soon as Yao Ming watched LeBron James' latest Nike commercial, he said he knew it would cause all sorts of trouble in China.

    Yao did not seemed offended and laughed when he reminded that he is "a Reebok guy." But he said that he was not surprised that the commercial in which James battles kung fu fighters was banned in China.

    "I think it's a cultural problem," Yao said. "There's some things in that commercial that Chinese people did not like to see: the dragons, women's pictures and something else. That's all I know."

    Asked if he agreed with the ban, Yao said, "Not all, but a little bit."


    Press row view

    Early in the first quarter, Ryan Bowen dove for a loose ball. In the second quarter, and for the second consecutive game, Maurice Taylor hit the floor. In the fourth quarter, Tracy McGrady was sprawled out trying to get his hands on the ball.

    Such moments might have been rare through the Rockets' five-game losing streak, but the increased intensity has seemed as obvious as it was vital in the two games since. It also could be contagious.

    For whatever the Rockets' game Tuesday lacked, and it lacked a great deal, it had intensity, an important improvement.


    Inside the numbers

    After making just 37.9 percent through three quarters, the Rockets had their best shooting quarter of the season, making 76.9 percent of their shots for a season-high 30 fourth-quarter points. ... The Hornets' 16 points were the fewest against the Rockets in the first quarter this season, and the 30 first-half points matched the fewest for a Rockets opponent.

    Did you know?

    Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Garnett are the only players to average at least 20 points, five rebounds, five assists, one block and one steal this season.

    -- MEGAN MANFULL and JONATHAN FEIGEN
     
  2. Davidoff

    Davidoff Contributing Member

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    WOW, I knew Bron was good...but damn look at what names he is being talked about with in his second season..:eek:
     
  3. vunny1408

    vunny1408 Contributing Member

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    I thought Bron had 20 , 5 , 5, 1, 1 in his rookie year as well.
     
  4. Gutter Snipe

    Gutter Snipe Contributing Member

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    This was the funniest thing I've read in a long long time. JVG earned a few more feet of rope from me for this quote alone.

    :D :D :D
     
  5. qrui

    qrui Member

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    bad bad luck if you could injure your back by just doing that.
     
  6. gucci888

    gucci888 Contributing Member

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    I literally almost fell asleep during the game. :eek: :(
     
  7. JPM0016

    JPM0016 Contributing Member

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    At least he didn't fall off his treadmill. :D
     
  8. Summer Song Giver

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    We must break you



    ;)
     
  9. AroundTheWorld

    AroundTheWorld Insufferable 98er
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    Summer Song Giver/amed/Juugie:

    Who had the most points and rebounds in this game?

    Repeat after me:

    Y-a-o M-i-n-g
     
  10. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    You guys werent entertained by the Juwan Bobblehead?
     
  11. shawn786

    shawn786 Member

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    Yes the game was a real yawner, just the way Grumpy likes it!
     
  12. dreday

    dreday Contributing Member

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    At least they broke the 80 point mark. Saturday I was at the game taking pictures of the ceiling...
     
  13. dreday

    dreday Contributing Member

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    DP...
     
    #13 dreday, Dec 8, 2004
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2004
  14. Will

    Will Clutch Crew
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    So let's hear more about what we did in the last 3.5 minutes to generate such consistent scoring. Can we hear from one of you who saw the game?
     
  15. amed

    amed Contributing Member

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    Who were they playing? The worst team in the NBA with no center. He only grabed 9 boards? A 7'6'' center should grab more than 9 boards against the Hornets. He had the most points but how many points did TMac have to sacrifise in order to slow the dall down for this dumbass to gain position in the low post. If the offense was tailored to Tmac, he would get alot more than 19 points. So if your happy with 19pts and 9 boards against the worst team then go ahead and gloat becasue I know he is going to have many more games of 8pts 2 reb and 6to.
     
  16. shawn786

    shawn786 Member

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    Last time i checked Yao IS the best center in the west. I'v had enough of your negative remarks! I got one word 4 u, IGNORE!
     
  17. Mr Boo

    Mr Boo Contributing Member

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    LOL!
     
  18. Oski2005

    Oski2005 Contributing Member

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    ZZZ ZZZ ZZZ *YAWN* Why is the sun shining? Oh crap, I fell asleep. Did we win?
     
  19. AroundTheWorld

    AroundTheWorld Insufferable 98er
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    Once again, Juugie, you are exposed as a hater.

    Minor nitpick: Yao had 21 points, not 19. Also, his 9 rebounds were a game-high.

    Also:

    "If the offense was tailored to Tmac, he would get alot more than 19 points."

    T-Mac took 19 shots.
    Yao Ming took 13.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Kyrodis

    Kyrodis Contributing Member

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    Good God amed, how many times do we have to say this:

    Height isn't the only thing that makes a good rebounder. There's a lot of other factors involved: quickness, timing, reflexes, etc.

    Yao has relatively short arms and minimal leaping ability. For example, Yao might be 8 inches taller than his defender, but his reach is only 6 inches higher (due to short arms). Moreover, if Yao can only jump 12 inches and his defender can jump 24 inches, that's more than enough to negate his height advantage for rebounding.

    Being 7'6" in the NBA doesn't automatically mean you can grab 25 rebounds a game. Keep in mind that Yao is AT MOST, only several inches taller than the centers/PFs he plays against. He doesn't tower over the them way you tower over a 5 year old kid.
     
    #20 Kyrodis, Dec 8, 2004
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2004

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