Yao Ming Mania! All about Chinese basketball star and NBA All-Star Yao Ming » vs. Golden State

'vs. Golden State' category archive

Rockets right ship against Warriors, Yao scores 30, grabs 14 boards

Friday, April 7th, 2006
by John
Yao grabs one of 14 rebounds Friday night at Golden State.  He also scored 30 points in leading the Rockets to a 100-93 victory, thanks to help from his teammates' outside shooting.Yao grabs one of 14 rebounds Friday night at Golden State. He also scored 30 points in leading the Rockets to a 100-93 victory, thanks to help from his teammates’ outside shooting. Click here for more photos from the game from sina.com.

by John

FRIDAY, 4/7/06 – Despite a disappointing season that had so much promise at the beginning, the Golden State Warriors drew to their game Friday night against the Rockets over 19,000 fans, many who came to see Yao make his second visit to one of the most highly anticipated NBA games of the season for the large Asian-American coningent in the Bay Area.

Yao didn’t disappoint, showing he is almost unstoppable on his way to 30 points on 12-of-22 shooting, 14 rebounds and 2 blocks. The Rockets also managed to finally make some clutch plays down the stretch – something they couldn’t do against pathetic Portland on Wednesday night – and pull out a 100-93 victory in Oakland to break a 3-game losing streak.

It didn’t matter, though, in the Rockets’ miniscule playoff chances. They were eliminated from the race after Sacramento also won on Friday night. Too little, too late.

But it was nice to see a glimpse of how the Rockets’ offense is supposed to work when Yao gets support from his outside shooters.

Late in the fourth quarter with the Rockets down 96-91, Yao got the ball down low in the paint, but then kicked it out to a wide-open Rafer Alston behind the three-point line, and Alston nailed it for the lead. Then the next time down the court, Yao got the ball deep in the paint again, threw another perfect strike to Luther Head standing behind the arc, and bingo! Luther drilled it to put the Rockets up 96-91 with 1:49 remaining, and that was basically the ballgame.

It wasn’t all peachy about 45 minutes earlier when Jeff Van Gundy pulled all five of his starters in the third quarter after they had blown a 10-point halftime lead. When asked about it after the game, JVG replied, “It was pathetic effort by all five of them (the starters). We played three very good quarters. It was unfortunate that it was marred by an irresponsible third quarter.”

That move must have been a wake-up call for the starters, who ended up outscoring the Warriors 27-17 in the fourth quarter, thanks to 8 points by Yao and 11 points by Alston. Even though Alston finished strong and scored 16 points and dished 9 assists for the game, the big star of this game (if you look past Yao, who you now expect to have a big game all the time) was Luther Head.

Luther showed once again that he could be a very good starting shooting guard for the Rockets next season, scoring 26 points on an incredible 8-of-9 from the field, and get this: 6-of-7 from three-point land! On top of that, he grabbed 8 boards and had 3 rebounds.

So although the Rockets lost the scoring punch of Mike James this season, they MAY have made up a lot of that void with Luther in the long run. Talk about lucky – I don’t think anyone thought he would show this kind of potential so early in his career.

Honorable mention goes out to Juwan Howard, who scored 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting, and Stromile Swift, who scored 8 points, including two dunks that were jaw-dropping. His second dunk was a reverse dunk from underneath the basket after a quick spin move around Troy Murphy on the baseline. I had to replay it on my Tivo about 8 times.

Chuck Hayes made the most of his 9 minutes when he was one of the reserves inserted in the third quarter. In that very short amount of time, he scored two points, grabbed four rebounds and had a block, drawing props from Van Gundy after the game.

Forgettable performances were turned in by Keith Bogans, 0-for-4 with no points, and David Wesley, 1-for-6 with 4 points. He did have six assists, though. As a team, the Rockets out-assisted Golden State 27-23, out-rebounded them 46-39, and out-shot them 46.8% to 40.2%. If they could play every game like this one nexxt season, I’ll take it.

john@YaoMingFanClub.com

To see the boxscore from the game, click here.

To read the Houston Chronicle’s article about the game, click here.

Yao has monster 22-21-2 game to defeat Warriors

Friday, February 24th, 2006
by John
Yao throws down a two-handed jam in the second quarter Friday night after his patented spin move on the baseline against Golden State's Troy Murphy.  Yao had a monster game, scoring 22 points, grabbing 21 boards and blocking 2 shots to lead the Rockets to a 91-88 victory.Yao throws down a two-handed jam in the second quarter Friday night after his patented spin move on the baseline against Golden State’s Troy Murphy. Yao had a monster game, scoring 22 points, grabbing 21 boards and blocking 2 shots to lead the Rockets to a 91-88 victory. To see more photos from the game, click here.

by John

When it was announced that Tracy McGrady wouldn’t be able to play Friday night because of the death of his fiancee’s mother, the Rockets faced a test they had failed 13 times before in a row – trying to win a game without T-Mac in the lineup.

But this team is a little different now, and the Rockets finally got the monkey off their back, beating Golden State 91-88 Friday night at Toyota Center.

Once again, Yao put in a magnificent performance, scoring 22 points, grabbing 21 boards, blocking 2 shots, and committing only 2 fouls in 37 minutes of play.

He started off slow, hitting only 1-of-5 in the first quarter. But he then went on a tear in the second, making 5-of-7 shots to rack up 16 points by halftime and propelling the Rockets to a 52-45 halftime lead.

He scored 4 more points in the third, contributing to a Rockets 76-68 lead heading into the fourth. Unfortunately, he missed all four of his field goal attempts in the final quarter, and the Rockets only shot 5-of-17.

Everyone else struggled, too. The Rockets missed their first 9 shots in the fourth quarter, didn’t score for the first six minutes, and the Warriors capped a 16-0 run to take an 82-76 lead.

But Houston made some big shots to get back into the game and take the lead. Thanks to great defense in the final seconds by Yao on Jason Richardson, who had made 7-of-11 treys in the game, J-Rich’s shot missed badly, and the Rockets held on for a hard-fought 91-88 win.

Give credit to Houston’s defense for holding the Warriors to 9-of-25 shooting in that fourth quarter. Otherwise, a couple of more Golden State field goals, and this could have been a devastating blow to the Rockets attempt to pull within a half game of the Warriors in the scramble for the final playoff spot. That final position, held by the Lakers, is now only 4 games away with 27 games left to play.

I would be negligent if I didn’t give props to Keith Bogans, who played superb in T-Mac’s absence. In the first quarter alone, Bogans scored 9 points on 4-of-5 shooting and grabbed 3 rebounds. He finished with 13 points and 5 rebounds. Not bad, Bogie (not sure if he’s called that, but it sounds good).

And Juwan Howard rebounded from a terrible shooting performance on Wednesday (2-of-11) to match Yao in the points column (22), making all of his free throw attempts (6), and grabbed 8 boards. What a great time to step up in T-Mac’s absence!

Finally, Luther Head had one of his best games in a long time, hitting 3-of-7 treys, scoring 11 points, and dishing out 7 assists – the most assists he has dished in 3 months.

The Rockets next play the Magic in Orlando on Sunday afternoon, this time without Steve Francis, traded a few days ago to the Knicks. We still don’t know if T-Mac will be able to play in that game because of bereavement, but I’ll bet he will play to 1) take his mind off the sadness, and 2) not miss the only game he gets to play in his old team’s arena and stick it to ‘em.

John
john@YaoMingFanClub.com

To see the boxscore from the game, click here.

To read the Houston Chronicle’s article about the game, click here.

Rockets come close, but no cigar on New Years Eve

Sunday, January 1st, 2006
by John
T-Mac reacts after his possible 4-point play just misses that could have tied up their game against Golden State on Saturday night.  The Rockets ended up losing 94-89.T-Mac reacts after his possible 4-point play just misses that could have tied up their game against Golden State on Saturday night. The Rockets ended up losing 94-89.

by John

MONDAY, 1/1/06 – I am on the road this week, so I am not able to provide a full analysis for last night’s New Years’ Eve game against Golden State, nor will I be able to provide full reports for the next three road games. What I’ll mainly do is link to the Houston Chronicle’s write-up of these games. Last night’s Chronicle story about Houston’s 94-89 loss can be found by clicking here.

It’s also tough to write much about this game because it was the Rockets’ fifth loss in a row. They had plenty of chances to tie it and put it into overtime, but the game boiled down to T-Mac having three 3-point attempts in the last 20 seconds that looked like they were going to go in, but just missed.

The other big theme about this game was that it was a game of runs. Golden State would take big leads, and Houston would chip away and get back into the game, thanks to their defense. The final set of runs included Houston being down 70-55, but then they went on a 16-4 run to cut it to 74-71. However, Houston’s offense went about 6 possessions without scoring, blowing lots of chances to pull ahead.

Golden State then retaliated with a 13-3 run of their own, and with 1:30 remaining in the game, it looked like the game was over with the Warriors holding a 90-80 lead.

Then a strange thing happened that I’ve never seen before.

Warriors’ assistant coach Keith Smart was called for a technical because he had one foot on the court as he was yelling instructions to one of his players. The refs saw it and blew the whistle for the tech. Everyone thought it was no big deal because the game was essentially over because the Warriors had a 10-point lead. That’s what David Wesley must have thought because he missed the technical free throw.

That missed free throw would come back to haunt the Rockets.

Wouldn’t you know it, Houston went on to score 9 points in a row. T-Mac hit a three-pointer with 1:22 to make it 90-83, Rafer Alston hit a three with 50 seconds left, and then T-Mac ALMOST made a miraculous 4-point play when he was fouled on a three-point attempt, but was still able to get off a 3-point shot that just missed.

T-Mac proceeded to hit the 3 free throws to make it 90-89 with 18.4 seconds remaining. If Wesley had made that technical, the game would have been tied 90-90 and the worst shape the Rockets would have been in would be to foul Golden State, put them on the line, and be down 92-90.

On the ensuing Warrior possession, the Rockets did just that. They fouled Derek Fisher as he made a strong move to the basket, put him on the line, and Fisher made both free throws.

Now down 92-89 (instead of 92-90), the Rockets were forced to put up three-pointers to tie it. T-Mac’s first attempt just missed, but new Rocket addition John Lucas III got the rebound and dished to T-Mac for another attempt, which just rimmed out. Amazingly, Lucas grabbed the second rebound on the other side of the court, but unfortunately he had one foot out-of-bounds, and the game was basically over. The Rockets fouled Troy Murphy on the inbounds play, and he made both free throws to seal the victory, 94-89.

When you look at the boxscore, you see the Rockets had plenty of chances. Wesley was awful, hitting only 1-of-8 shots, missing all five of his 3-point attempts. Alston, who returned from his leg injury, was 1-of-5 from three-point land. T-Mac was only 10-of-15 from the free throw line.

On the bright side, the Rockets played very well in the paint, often scoring at will. They kept going to the hole, and Juwan Howard ended up scoring 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Stromile Swift had several spectacular dunks, thanks to feeds from guys like T-Mac. Swift had his second great game in a row, scoring 17 points (7-of-12 shooting) and grabbed 13 rebounds. I am so encouraged by Swift’s play recently, I went ahead and picked him up on my fantasy team.

With Yao on the injured list, it looks like the Rockets big men are adjusting and finding ways to score now that there is more room in the paint with Yao out of the mix. But the problem of going several minutes without scoring still continues to plague the Rockets. It’s encouraging that Stromile is able to help out T-Mac, but they still need to have 3 guys who can consistently score to win close games like these.

Maybe the start of a new year will purge all the bad memories from 2005 from the Rockets’ brains and give them a feeling of a new, fresh start.

John
john@YaoMingFanClub.com

To see the boxscore from the game, click here.

Rockets come back against Warriors to win fourth straight; Yao scores 30, grabs 16 rebounds

Wednesday, December 14th, 2005
by John
Unbelievably on this play involving Golden State's Baron Davis, Yao Ming is called for a foul.  It didn't matter, though, since the Rockets had an amazing comeback in the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime where they closed out their fourth straight win.  Yao led all scorers with one of his best games this season, scoring 30 points on 67% shooting and grabbing 16 boards.Unbelievably on this play involving Golden State’s Baron Davis, Yao is called for a foul. It didn’t matter, though, since the Rockets had an amazing comeback in the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime where they closed out their fourth straight win. Yao led all scorers with one of his best games this season, scoring 30 points on 67% shooting and grabbing 16 boards. For more photos from the game, click here.

by John

WEDNESDAY, 12/14/05 – I was dreading writing this report tonight when the Rockets were down 11 points to Golden State with 4:40 remaining Thursday night. They had played so well in the first half, and everything had looked so promising at halftime for a pretty big upset on the road against a much improved Warriors team.

But the Rockets made an amazing comeback to tie the score at the end of regulation to put the game into overtime, then pulled off one of their most improbable and amazing wins of the young season Wednesday night, shocking the Golden State Warriors to win in overtime 111-105.

NOW I am VERY motivated to write about the details of this game (funny what a win will do, huh?). There’s only one problem: the game ended close to 12:30am Houston time, and I don’t have enough time to provide a normal report. I wish I could have everyone come over to my place and watch a replay of the game on my Tivo because this game had everything. But here’s a short synopsis of some of the highlights.

Read the rest of this entry »

Despite Yao’s 23 pts, 11 boards, Rockets lose third straight

Tuesday, April 5th, 2005
by John
Yao snares a rebound against Golden State Tuesday night in Oakland, one of 11 rebounds Yao had to go with his 23 points and 3 blocks.  But it wasn't enough as the Rockets lost their third straight.Yao snares a rebound against Golden State Tuesday night in Oakland, one of 11 rebounds Yao had to go with his 23 points and 3 blocks. But it wasn’t enough as the Rockets lost their third straight. Click here for more photos from the game.

by Chia-Chi

TUESDAY, 4/5/05 – What a heartbreaker. In tonight’s game against the Warriors the Rockets were competitive the entire time but could not muster enough defensive power to earn the victory. In a game where all of the Rockets did well, the Warriors did exceedingly well. Behind a career night from Baron Davis the surging Warriors simply beat the Rockets for the win, 122-117.

While the Rockets have been struggling of late and plagued with a variety of injuries Yao’s swollen calf, T-Mac‘s hip, Jon Barry ‘s sore back, etc), the Warriors have been on a roll, winning 8 of their past 9 games, including wins over Seattle, Phoenix, and the Kings.

Heading into the final weeks of the regular season, the older Rockets are feeling the pains more than a younger Warriors team that will not make the playoffs.

The first quarter started at a quick pace with the Warriors taking the reins. Center Troy Murphy, who was rock-solid for the Warriors in the previous match up, started the game with a quick three and was followed by Baron Davis’ two-point jumper. On a steal from McGrady, Davis assisted Jason Richardson for one of his slam dunk contest-winning jams. At this point the Warriors lead 7-0 and had the sold-out Oakland crowd on its feet.

But Jeff Van Gundy‘s constant plea to stick with the game plan in good times and bad finally sunk in as the Rockets started playing their game. The Rockets came back from a strong start by T-Mac. While the Rockets wanted more touches for Yao, the Warriors doubled and triple-teamed him throughout the quarter. Yao was constantly defended from the back and front, even when he didn’t have the ball! The Warriors challenge in the paint was a dare to shoot from the outside. While the Rockets shot fairly well, mostly behind T-Mac and Sura, six first-quarter turnovers laid the foundation for 26-18 Warriors lead.

The second quarter was more competitive. Yao came out strong and scored six points and had a nice block of Richardson. In a highlight-reel worthy play, Yao got the ball deep in the paint and dunked it while surrounded by three Warriors’ players!

Unfortunately, Zarko Cabarkapa, whose three point shooting proved to be a nightmare in the last matchup between the teams, came out strong and drained two three-pointers. But the Rockets played their game with T-Mac being his usual self, scoring effortlessly from outside and by slashing inside. However, Baron Davis matched him tit-for-tat, including the last nine points for the Warriors to maintain their lead.

Near the end of the quarter Sura was upset about a non-call and was walking down the court when he inadvertently bumped into Warrior’s coach Mike Montgomery. After being called for a technical, he was led off the court by a Rocket’s security guard whom Sura also pushed away. The first half ended with the Warriors leading 53-50.

Starting the third quarter the Warriors stopped guarding Yao as much so they could put more coverage on T-Mac. The single coverage freed up Yao in the paint where he had a field day with Adonal Foyle, shooting a variety of hooks and post up moves for easy points. T-Mac also had a huge quarter as well, scoring 12 of his game-high 44 points. Sura, who was booed on nearly every possession, was 2-2 from the three point line.

But the story of the quarter was Baron Davis, who seemed invincible on the court. Not only did he score 17 points from all over the place, but he also distributed the ball to his teammates for easy buckets. Davis ended the game with a career-high 40 points and 11 assists.

T-Mac pushed the Rockets forward with an incredible shooting display. By the end of the third the Rockets were down 89-84 and the momentum and energy seemed to be with the older and more experienced Rockets team.

But the confidence of knowing how to win in the fourth can often transform to arrogance and laziness. The lesson from the last game against the Warriors was, “Live by the three and die by the three.” The Warriors remembered, but the Rockets forgot. Down by 5 points at the start, the Rockets relied on three-point shots that never dropped. The Rockets shot 10 three point shots in the fourth, but only hit two. In desperate need for high percentage points, the Rockets fed Yao in the fourth and he delivered, scoring eight points in the quarter.

Jason Richardson attempted another highlight dunk over Yao but was fabulously rejected. You know that if he would have made it to posterize Yao, Sportscenter would have replayed it a hundred times. Conversely, those even more amazing rejections don’t get the attention they deserve.

But the high offense of the Rockets was not balanced with a strong defense and the Warriors never relinquished their lead.

How Did Yao Do?

Yao’s all around game today was excellent. He was aggressive around the basket, grabbing offensive rebounds for dunks, blocking shots, and defending well. Yao finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks, on 8-12 shooting and was 7-7 from the line. He had the type of game where he was solid in every area, and you wish he had on a consistent basis.

One area that has been lacking of late is David Wesley. Such an integral factor of the winning streaks that resulted in the Rockets having the best away game record, he has lost his shooting touch.
Tonight he shot 3-13 from the field and 1-6 from the three point line.

The Rockets are now only one game ahead of the 7th spot in the West.

As a side note, status was given for injured Rockets power forward Juwan Howard. While recovering and doing exercises in a pool, Howard is still expected to be out at least 4 weeks. While it is possible that he will be active during the playoffs, from all coaching indications, his recovery is not expected.

Chia-Chi
zenithnadir@YaoMingFanClub.com

To read the Houston Chronicle’s post-game analysis, click here.

Rockets win 5th straight in Golden State squeaker

Tuesday, March 15th, 2005
by John
Yao gets hacked by Golden State's Adonal Foyle in Oakland on Monday night in a wild game, with the Rockets holding off a mad rush by the Warriors to win their fifth game in a row, 97-94.Yao gets hacked by Golden State’s Adonal Foyle in Oakland on Monday night in a wild game, with the Rockets holding off a mad rush by the Warriors to win their fifth game in a row, 97-94. Click here for more photos from the game.

by Chia-Chi

TUESDAY, 3/15/05 – The Golden State Warriors personified a hungry team and provided some unexpected turbulence for a Rockets team that continues to soar. While the Rockets now extend their winning streak to five games, beating the best of the West on their way (Suns, Sonics, Kings), the road weary Rockets team faced a final road trip game that was far from easy.

Read the rest of this entry »