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The Rockets beat the Hornets
Ugh. That game last night was so bad that afterwards I tried hard to kill the memory with excessive alcohol consumption. Unfortunately, I woke up this afternoon and I could still remember everything.
- Final score was 100-80 ( box | recap | standings ). The Rocks pulled away in the second quarter, and it was never really close after that.
- Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady both had it working, which is never a good thing if you're the opponent. With 7:22 left in the game, those two had combined for 60 points, while our whole team had scored just 64. Not good.
- Morris Peterson and Rasual Butler were mostly responsible for guarding T-Mac. They both got slaughtered. Mo-Pete seems to be struggling at both ends of the floor these days. Of course, stopping a guy like McGrady has to be a team effort, so I guess his 34 points were on everybody.
- Ryan Bowen also got some time on McGrady early in the second quarter, and didn't do so horribly. The hustler took off on a monumental one-man fastbreak midway through that period, resulting in a trip to the free throw line. The two dudes with the custom Bowen jerseys in section 111 were loving it.
- Speaking of fan attire, a shout out to the dude in 109 who was rocking the Chris Andersen jersey.
- Tyson Chandler had a rough night trying to stop Yao. I don't really see how TC could have played better individual defense on him though. Yao got excellent position down low a few times, but mostly he was just catching it on the block and throwing up hooks and fadeaways. And making them. I seem to remember us doubling down on Yao much better back in mid-January in Houston. We appeared reluctant to do that last night.
- Chris Paul and David West came away with pretty nice numbers. CP got 14 points, 11 assists and 3 steals, while West did the 20 and 10 thing. Chris looked very frustrated all night. He had a real tough time trying to finish in the lane, and Rafer Alston (hate that dude) did a pretty good job being physical with him. West was alright out there. He hustled pretty well from what I can remember.
- Credit Houston for shutting down Peja Stojakovic. The Serb got just 8 points on 3-of-10 shooting, his first single-digit scoring game since, oh look, it was back on January 13th in Houston when he scored just 2 points. Hmm. Methinks Shane Battier does a good job on Peja.
- About the only bright spot for the Hornets was the play of the giraffe calf (thanks, Toney), Julian Wright. The rookie came in with just over seven minutes left in the game, and proceeded to drop a billion points. There he was crossing up Tracy McGrady, dropping jumpers, running the floor and just being a colossal ball of healing energy in general. He has hyped right from the beginning of the night, addressing the crowd pre-tip with an upbeat tone, like he'd just gotten laid for the first time or something.
- Hilton Armstrong did his usual thing of making some great plays and making some dumb plays. He had a sensational block on Carl Landry 22 seconds after blowing a dunk in the second quarter. He finished 2 points, 5 rebounds and a pair of blocks in 16 minutes.
- It was good to see Melvin Ely back in the rotation (14 minutes tonight). Unfortunately, he sucked. Bad Melvin, must do better.
- I couldn't quite comprehend what happened just before halftime: Chris stole a rebound and shoveled it underneath to Hilton. The big man couldn't handle the pass and Alston busted out on a half-assed fastbreak. Rather than get back and play the whole defense thing, Hilton watched about three Rocket players run by him, then walked over to Chris to apologize for dropping the feed. CP looked at Armstrong like he was crazy.
- As noted, the second quarter was where this game got out of hand. The big reason was the fact that the Rockets had Yao and McGrady on the floor for a long stretch while we had five reserves out there. Not funny, Byron.
- Anyone else find it weird that Rick Adelman had four starters in the game until there was three minutes left in the fourth quarter? We waved the white flag and emptied the bench about five minutes prior. I don't see any logic in Adelman doing that when the Rockets had secured the win so early. Would have been interesting to see the backlash if McGrady had turned an ankle out there.
- Luis Scola's beautiful hair had 8 points, his flowing locks had 9 rebounds, while his gorgeous mane committed 5 fouls.
- I lucked out and managed to get into the Times-Picayune suite for the game. Massive thanks to Terry for making that happen. The free beer and food was glorious.
Moving on, and the Hornets are in San Antonio today to play the Spurs. Tough back-to-back, but I'm glad we don't get a chance to dwell on the Houston loss for too long.
The newcomers, Bonzi Wells and Mike James, should be good to go tonight since all the i's have been crossed and the t's dotted and all that mad stuff. Let's hope they can give us a nice boost of energy so we don't sleepwalk for the second night in a row.