MONDAY, 2/6/06 – Who would have thought the Rockets could win with T-Mac scoring only 13 points? That’s what happened Monday night in a game which Yao dominated, tallying a double-double (27 points, 12 rebounds), and their defense holding the Philadelphia 76ers without a bucket for 15 straight minutes and 19 straight shots in the second half. Look out. The Rockets are on a 4-game winning streak, and are fun to watch again!
In addition to the 76ers drought in the second half, they only shot 18% in the first half, scoring only 9 points in the second quarter. They also had 14 turnovers in the first half, finishing with 24 TO’s compared to Houston’s 13.
Although Yao scored 27, he only made 9-of-21 from the floor. The key was his shooting 9-of-9 from the free throw line.
Props go to Rafer Alston, who finally shot well from the field to add to his usual decent assist totals. After hitting only 1-of-16 three-pointers in his past four games, Alston finally found his range and hit 5-of-8 treys Monday night, scored 19 in addition to his 8 assists. He also played pretty good defense on Allen Iverson. With T-Mac only making 5-of-19 shots, we can say that without Alston’s contribution (and of course Yao’s), the Rockets probably would have lost this game. That’s a switch.
It didn’t hurt that Philadelphia struggled from the floor, making only 33% of their shots. It’s very reminiscent of Houston’s bad shooting when T-Mac and Yao were both out of the lineup. But hey, it happens, and the Rockets will take it.
I am now betting that T-Mac will have a monster game against the Lakers on Wednesday night because rarely does he have more than a couple of bad games in a row, and it’s T-Mac’s turn to take over for Yao as part of their “one-two” punch while Yao has just a so-so game statistically. And you can bet T-Mac will be pumped to play against his scoring rival, Kobe Bryant.
To see the boxscore from the game, click here.
To read the Houston Chronicle’s article about the game, click here.