I love how the Rockets made a statement and blew out the Celtics 111-80 in Boston after that disheartening loss in Houston 9 days ago. Good job, Rox. Yao scored 11 and grabbed 5 boards, and only 1 turnover. Tracy McGrady scored 25 points on 7-of-16 shooting, but he had 6 TO’s.
Overall the Rockets shot 51.3% and made 15-of-28 three-pointers on an amazing 53.6% shooting. Yes, they shot better from behind the arc than inside it. Live by the three, die by the three. Tonight they lived it to the fullest.
Meanwhile the Celtics shot 35.9% and were 1-of-9 from three-point land.
When Yao scored his first bucket on a strong move in the middle of the paint, and later swatted Delonte West’s layup attempt with authority, the Boston crowd – with a large contingent of Asian-Americans who come to see Yao every year – ooohed and aahhed loudly. Nice to see he still draws his fans when on the road.
Yao would have scored more if the game hadn’t been a blowout (31 point lead at one point) and if he hadn’t dislocated his finger on a Michael Olowokandi dunk attempt. After the game, Yao said, “It’s fine. It’s fine. I will not miss 10 weeks or something.”
After the injury, useless Boston announcer Tom Heinsohn said, “That was his chopstick finger, too! He may not be able to eat any more!” Yeah, right.
The Rockets crisp passing for open shots was impressive – the best I have seen all year. They finished with heir highest number of assists this season: 31 assists on 40 field goals! They also had 12 steals.
Shane Battier was fantastic from behind the arc, hitting 5-of-11 three pointers for 15 points. They were a direct result of great passes for wide open shots.
Chuck Hayes played one of his best games as a Rocket, hustling for 11 boards and 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Rafer Alston shot well, hitting 5-of-9 shots for 14 points. And Juwan Howard was 6-of-10 for 12 points.
Now if the Rockets could just take this game and bottle it for the rest of the season and playoffs, you won’t hear me complain at all, except for stupid remarks by opposing teams’ announcers.