The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

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

Not to belabor a small point in your typically excellent Hornets recap, but T-Mac is a surprisingly inept free-throw shooter, especially for someone who is so adept at the long-range bomb. This year, he is shooting less than 70 percent from the line.

Posted by: Don Mecoy at 10:56 AM on 26 March 2007

His career average is up in the 70s somewhere, which is the sort of number which impresses a Hornets fan, inasmuch as the team usually struggles to get 65 percent.

Besides, I tend to think of T-Mac as Clutch And Then Some, and last night, despite 31 points, he wasn't.

Posted by: CGHill at 11:03 AM on 26 March 2007