It was raining in Toronto on Tuesday.
Raining threes that is.
The Rockets hit the bullseye 13 times out of 20 attempts from long range and Cuttino Mobley and Steve Francis combined to score 51 points as the Rockets decimated the Raptors 110-91 in Toronto.
The win ups the Rockets' mark to .500 at 17-17.
Best game the Rockets have played this season? Quite possibly. They executed beautifully. The Rockets shot a sizzling 53% from the field and held the Raptors to 39% shooting. But it was Francis and Cuttino who led the way.
Vince Carter (24 points) may be the second coming of the "Human Highlight Film", but it was Francis who was filling the nightly news clips Tuesday, particularly in the second quarter. An insane swat of a Corliss Williamson shot or a nasty alleyoop... Francis finished with 24 points, 11 assists and 8 boards -- just 2 boards shy of a triple double.
And when asked about how he felt going up against Vince Carter, Franchise stated, "I feel the same way he should feel playing against me. He's a good player and I'm a good player."
He was terrific -- can't say enough. The passing and decision-making (11 assists to 3 turnovers) was just outstanding.
Mobley didn't have the all-around game Francis did, but he was a scoring machine, hitting 11-20 and scoring 27 in 37 minutes -- also nailing all three of his trifectas. Huge bounce-back game for Cat after going 4-16 against the Jazz.
Speaking of nailing trifectas, what got in to Walt Williams that possesed him not to miss shots? Walt went 4-4 from long range and finished with 14 points in just 18 minutes off the pine. Huge lift off the bench was Walt.
Shandon Anderson also was terrific, scoring 17 points on 7-10 from the floor. We are starting to see the emergence of Shandon out of his season long slump. In his last 4 games Shandon is averaging 18.5 points and 6 boards, hitting 50% of his shots (24-48) and has hit 8-15 threes.
Maurice Taylor added 10 points.
Shandon Anderson and Cuttino Mobley each had 7 in the first period and the Rockets led 24-22 afer one.
The second quarter was amazing.
Francis was a highlight reel -- monster dunk, monster block... when he wasn't doing it Cuttino was, or Walt Williams was. The Rockets closed the quarter on a 20-6 run to take a commanding 58-40 halftime lead.
The Rockets outscored the Raptors 34-18 in the period. You could hear boos cascading down on the Raptors at intermission.
Francis was awesome, finishing the half with 14 points, 5 assists and 6 boards. He wasn't even the team's leading scorer at the half -- Cuttino was with 16. Walt had 11 and nailed all 3 of his three-point attempts.
The Raptors came on strong to start the third, cutting it to 12, but after Mobley drained a three the Rockets led 63-48. A three a little later by Francis made it 69-53.
When the third was over, the Rockets led 81-64. Francis and Mobley each had 21 through three. Francis also had 8 boards and 7 assists. Vince Carter led all scorers with 24.
When Francis nailed a three to start the fourth, the Rockets had opened a 20-point lead. 30 seconds later Francis found Mobley underneath for a vicious slam (which got him a lame ass technical for slapping the backboard on the dunk) and it was 86-64.
A three by Walt made it 89-65 and the big lead was a rout.
Francis found Shandon underneath for a layin, making it 95-69. When Bullard nailed a 3 the Rockets were 13-19 from beyond the arc (68%) and led by 28, 102-74.
A huge win for the Rocks.