25 March 2007
Rocketing to oblivion
This game was on ABC's national television schedule, but was dumped, no doubt because they felt it wouldn't be much of a game, with the Rockets generally healthy and the Hornets in a March slump. After the first quarter, I might have believed them; the Bees were down 30-20. After the second, it was 52-44. One good Third-Quarter Drought would have killed it.
But it didn't die: the Hornets found some D and some buckets, and went into the fourth leading 75-73. The Rockets regained their shooting prowess in the fourth, but the Bees were on a roll, and broke it open in the last couple of minutes, winning by twelve, 106-94. "ABC blew it," observed Sean Kelley, and he wasn't the only one who thought so.
The Rockets' primary offensive weapon, the Yao Ming/Tracy McGrady axis, was good for 47 points; but Yao's shooting was off he made only 7 of 22 and McGrady, who almost never misses free throws, missed three free throws, and hit only one of four treys. (Rafer Alston was the three-point threat, hitting four of nine.)
Desmond Mason had a good night, with 19 points, and you have to figure that 19 points for your third-leading scorer is good indeed. Chris Paul racked up 28, including four of five 3-balls, and David West added 23. The Hornets shot 50 percent and dropped in 16 of 18 free throws. Tyson? Oh, yeah, another double-double: 14 points, 10 boards.
The Hornets have now beaten the Rockets three straight. Unfortunately, they must next play the Mavericks, a team they last beat some time during the Spanish-American War.Posted at 9:24 PM to Net Proceeds