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<  Yao on the court, and his most recent game  ~  Game 81: Phoenix Suns @ Houston Rockets 4/16/2007

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:18 pm
User avatarPosts: 4061Location: Let The Good Times Roll!Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:34 pm
Cokebabies wrote:
and that ref is such a jerk to the rockets.

i hope we dont play phoenix in the playoffs. they give me too much stress.


Did you get the uniform # of that Ref? I need to rank him as one of the NBA's worst in my thread! ... 009#306009

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:22 pm
User avatarPosts: 4061Location: Let The Good Times Roll!Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:34 pm

Smiley N. Pool : Chronicle
Rafer Alston tries to slow Phoenix's Steve Nash.

April 16, 2007, 10:19PM

Rockets drop Suns, clinch home edge in 1st round

Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

Game Statistics

Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady stood face to face at midcourt beaming and shaking and then finally slapping hands together joyously.

The Rockets had gone after one win hungrily, as if the home-court advantage it would give them in the playoffs would mean playoff success.

It was as if slaying the Suns, who had tormented them so this season and last, would mean they were finally ready to join them.

Then the Suns chased them into the final seconds, before the Rockets finally had just enough, winning 120-117 before 18,375 fans screaming themselves silly at Toyota Center.

The victory snapped the Rockets' six-game losing streak against the Suns and their six-game losing streak against Phoenix in Houston. It also extended the Rockets' winning streak to a season-best five games.

With the win, the Rockets will begin their first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz at Toyota Center either Saturday or Sunday.

McGrady led the Rockets with 39 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Yao added 34 points and nine rebounds. And with Shane Battier adding 17, the Rockets had enough to answer the 30 scored by Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion's 27 and Steve Nash's 15 points, 15 assists night.

The Rockets led by 10 with 2:14 remaining, but did not score again. McGrady, who had 39 points, missed two jumpers. Luther Head threw the ball away looking for Yao. The Suns scored seven unanswered points, as the Rockets clung to the most fragile of three-point leads heading into the final seconds.

Stoudemire missed, but Phoenix got the ball back in the final seconds when it went out of bounds off Yao and Shawn Marion, with Marion beating Yao on the jump.

The Suns missed again, this time with Nash missing a 3 with 6.4 seconds left, but again, the Rockets could not control the rebound. And again, the Suns missed, with Stoudemire missing a 3, and Marion putting it in with one second left, leading the Suns a point short.

Rafer Alston was fouled with three-tenths of a second left, and put in both attempts to finish it.

The Rockets had to put up all kinds of offense to have just enough.

With the game tied, 66-66, four minutes into the second half, the Suns had made 17 of 21 shots, and did not show any signs of letting up.

It took just a missed shot or two, and in very much the Suns' style, the Rockets took off. In the next five minutes, they outscored Phoenix, 19-4. McGrady hit a 3. Juwan Howard tipped in a miss. Yao followed an offensive rebound for a three-point play. With two Rafer Alston free throws, the Rockets had a 10-0 run.

Suns guard Leandro Barbosa put in a jumper, but Yao hit a jumper, Battier a 3-pointer and McGrady two more jumpers to take the lead to 85-70 less than three minutes before the four quarter.

The Suns cranked it up again, reducing that lead to 12 heading into the fourth quarter, with the Rockets keeping it that large with consecutive Dikembe Mutombo offensive rebounds and follows. That gave the Rockets 26 second-chance points through three quarters, enough to more than make up for the Suns' scoring.

Still, rarely has a 12-point lead looked shakier, if only because 12-point margins are different when the Suns are giving chase and because through three quarters, they were still hitting nearly 60 percent of their shots.

The Rockets have had their troubles closing out far lesser offensive teams. When McGrady went out for his fourth-quarter break, sitting with 36 points, the Rockets lead was at 10. When he returned, it was reduced to five with 8:12 remaining with James Jones hitting a 3 through a Luther Head foul for a four-point play.

But Head knocked down a 3-pointer, Yao put in a layup and Yao knocked down two free throws, rebuilding he lead to 107-97 with 5 1/2 minutes left.

The Suns kept scoring, but so did the Rockets. With less than four minutes remaining, they pushed the lead back to double-digits on a McGrady 3. Typically, Nash immediately answered with one of his own and put in a jumper with three minutes left to reduced the lead to five.

But with a Yao tip and a Battier 3, the Rockets recaptured their 10-point lead.

Barbosa scored to bring the Suns to within 118-110. Twice the Rockets had chances to close it out. McGrady was tied up with Raja Bell, with Bell drawing an offensive foul. After Marion missed a runne,r McGrady missed a jumper.

Barbosa scored again, this time on an off-balance 3.

Still, the Rockets needed only one more field goal to be in command. Instead, Stoudemire jumped in front of Head's pass to Yao, then beat the Rockets down the court to slam home Nash's lob, cutting the lead to 118-115 with 48.5 seconds left.

The pattern, however, had long since been established, with the Rockets doing enough to look strong, and the Suns always seeming to answer.

When the half ended, Yao put in a jump hook and swatted a Stoudemire shot. But in a fitting end to the half, Stoudemire caught the rebound and nailed his jumper at the buzzer, keeping the Suns within 56-54.

That was pretty much how the game had gone. The Rockets had done so much right, and briefly held five-point leads. But whatever they did, whether maneuvering passes through a defense wrapped around Yao or on McGrady drives through traffic, the Suns seemed to answer easily, and nearly instantly.

McGrady made 9 of 15 shots, and all six of his free throws, to score 25 points, with five rebounds and five assists. Yao Made 6 of 11 shots for his 12 points, also with five rebounds. The Rockets controlled the boards, got 13 second-chance points, hit half their 10 3-pointers.

But the Suns rapidly flew into their offense, hit 61.1 percent of their first-half shots, and would not let the Rockets move from their reach.

They never did, until the last half second. But that was long enough to take the win.

Last edited by TheRoxRedGlare on Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:24 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:25 pm
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Ping Ni wrote:
alpha_yao wrote:
ROX starting five for next game against the Jazz... JL3, Billy, Synyder, Novak, Deke :shock:

Oh yea, we prob still win lol.
Thats good the starters deserve a rest for one game after getting this hard fought victory. This was the best game the Rockets played all season. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:26 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:30 pm
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GO GO GO Rockets !!!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:31 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:34 pm
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Will be back for the conference final games.

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