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Rockets vs. Magic According to the Orlando Sentinel

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by A_3PO, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. A_3PO

    A_3PO Member

    Apr 29, 2006
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    Magic must look to Bobcats after losing to Yao, Rockets

    Brian Schmitz | Sentinel Staff Writer
    Posted March 12, 2007

    HOUSTON -- And the battle cry afterward was, "We got to get Charlotte. We just have to get Charlotte."

    So said Orlando Magic shooting guard Grant Hill.

    Nothing quite illustrates your lot in NBA life like the desperate need to beat the lottery-bound Charlotte Bobcats tonight, but that's the Magic's status in the standings.

    It's the type of game they can -- and likely must -- win to restore belief into their playoff hopes. On Sunday, the Magic were no match against the Houston Rockets in a 103-92 loss at Toyota Center.

    Seven-foot, six-inch Yao Ming reminded the Magic of the tall order they must face in trying to rediscover their mojo.

    Yao posted his best game since returning last week from a serious leg injury, scoring a game-high 37 points. He was so dominant that the Rockets (39-24) didn't need Tracy McGrady to be at his best against his former team.

    The scoring T-Mac -- who finished with 19 points on 6-of-17 shooting -- became the passing T-Mac. He recorded 10 assists, including two bullet passes to Yao to blunt a benign Magic (29-35) uprising and sweep the series 2-0.

    Falling out of the postseason chase to No. 9, the Magic never were really in this game despite finally cutting a 21-point deficit to 10 in the final three minutes.

    Long before then, Coach Brian Hill already had Charlotte on his mind, too. He pulled center Dwight Howard, who sat the entire fourth quarter.

    Without Howard, the Magic sliced the margin to 12 at 91-79 on Jameer Nelson's jumper.

    But Keyon Dooling, facing more rugged Rockets' defense, was forced to launch a wayward shot with the shot clock running down. On the other end -- and typical of the game and Orlando's season -- the Rockets missed, gathered an offensive rebound and made the most of the second chance. McGrady drained a 3-pointer to push the lead to 94-79.

    "When you get down by 20 late in the game you have to start thinking about your next game," Brian Hill said. "We got on a run and cut the lead to 10, but we really ran out of time."

    Grant Hill, back in the starting lineup after a relief appearance in the club's last game last Thursday, had 17 points in 31minutes to lead Orlando.

    Howard recorded his 45th double-double of the season, scoring 16 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Darko Milicic had 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. But he and Howard could do little against Yao, who played in just his fourth game since returning from a broken right leg in late December.

    "He's 7-6 and there isn't a lot you can do against him,'' Howard said of Yao. "You have to run him and we didn't run him enough, coming off his injury. You have to run the floor against him.''

    Forward Hedo Turkoglu, electing to play without a mask protecting his broken nose, couldn't give Orlando much firepower. He finished with 10 points, and lost steam after running, face-first, into the shoulder of Rockets center Dikembe Mutombo early. Nelson struggled, scoring just four points, although he did have five assists and just one turnover.

    The aggressive Rockets shot 52.9 percent, thanks to Yao's 14-of-22 night, and registered 30 assists. Forward Juwan Howard, part of the T-Mac package the Magic sent to Houston in 2004, added 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting to lead the Rockets' fine supporting cast.

    The Magic were hanging around for much of the first half, trailing just 39-34 after Carlos Arroyo's 3-pointer.

    Then Shane Battier and Kirk Snyder connected on consecutive 3-pointers to push the lead to 11 at 45-34. Even with T-Mac, the Rockets kept control, taking a 58-45 halftime lead on 22-of-32 shooting (68.8 percent).

    "Houston did exactly what we were scared they would do and that's jump out to an early lead," Grant Hill said. "We were swimming upstream."

    Tonight, the Magic face a Bobcats team that has lost eight consecutive games and will be playing without center Emeka Okafor.

    "We need Charlotte bad," guard Keith Bogans said. "Real bad."

    Brian Schmitz can be reached at bschmitz@orlandosentinel.com.
  2. kpsta

    kpsta Member

    Sep 2, 2001
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    I'm surprised they didn't make at least one reference to "Me-Mac"... I guess they've finally moved on.
  3. EssTooKayTD

    EssTooKayTD Member

    Dec 15, 2005
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    Still taking cheap shots it seems to me...
  4. Hayesfan

    Hayesfan Member

    Nov 3, 2006
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    Lord wouldn't they hate it if Tracy won a ring with us after not making it out of the first round with the Magic.

    I bet you would get lots of fun article diggin then! ;)
  5. rumcoke

    rumcoke Member

    Nov 12, 2006
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    yeah, "even with tmac"? that's kinda ridiculous. looks like some people cant get over the past
  6. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
    Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2002
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    Rather amazing quote, is it not? Stupid chumps in Orlando.

    (BTW, why didn't you pick Cuba Libre as your moniker?? ;) )
  7. tigermission1

    tigermission1 Member

    Aug 17, 2002
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    Oh don't worry, you know one of their sports 'columnists' will be waiting for the Rockets to flop in the playoffs and then unleash yet another 'Me-Mac' b****fest.

    I mean, they've already cemented their status as douche bags when they took cheap shots at McGrady during our injury-wrecked season last year.

    Frankly, I've never seen anyone more jilted than Orlando fans. You would think that after losing Shaq, even losing McGrady would pale in comparison. But I guess not.
  8. Head9

    Head9 Member

    Feb 8, 2007
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    what is in my mind:

    Magic has a impressive record early this season, and ppl said, they won't last.. :rolleyes:
  9. tituspan

    tituspan Member

    Sep 4, 2002
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    Looks like they are getting beat by the bobcats :D
  10. davidwu

    davidwu Member

    Nov 22, 2002
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    I was at the game and the hate is definitely there. A few guys shout "my back, my back" when during his free-throw. Even the old lady behind me was saying sth like he is a fake.

  11. wnes

    wnes Contributing Member

    Feb 19, 2003
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    This could well be a misprint, for which the writer meant "Even without" instead of "Even with," and the editor didn't catch.

    If so, it'll make you guys sound like a bunch of oversensitive, whiny babies.

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