That's 2 and a half hours of our lives we'll never get back.
The powers that be seemed to align against the Rockets Tuesday night: every Rocket sucked. A poor effort combined with the rock-solid defense of the Miami Heat resulted in a 103-85 rout in favor of Pat Riley's boys.
The attempt to move over .500 failed -- the Rocks fell to 22-23 on the season.
The Rockets could shoot no better than 33.7%. And from three-point range it was even uglier... 3-22 (13.6%). It was ugly. The Heat on the other hand shot nearly 52% in the Compaq Center.
7 Heat players scored in double figures. Tim Hardaway (15 points, 11 assists), Anthony Mason (19 points, 15 rebounds), Anthony Carter (16), Eddie Jones (14), Brian Grant (12), Bruce Bowen (11)and even Eddie House (you kidding me?) put up 10.
Steve Francis finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds, but he had no assists and shot just 6-18 on the night. Cuttino Mobley led the Rockets with 22, but he too knocked down just 5-14.
In fact, Walt Williams played just 13 minutes but still managed to shoot and miss 6 three-pointers.
The lone bright spot, with the exception of Carlos Rogers off the bench (7 points, 6 boards in 12 minutes), was the play of Hakeem Olajuwon. He took it to Brian Grant early and may have been motivated by showing Pat Riley what he could do for the center-less Heat. He finished with 13 points (8 in the first quarter) and 7 boards on 6-10 from the floor.
When Cuttino Mobley hit a triple, the Rockets led 11-9, but the Heat ran off 7 straight points to go up 16-11. When Tim Hardaway nailed his second triple of the game, it was 26-19 Heat.
Bruce Bowen nailed his third three-pointer of the game and the Heat led 31-21 and had hit 5 of their first 6 three-pointers. It was 31-23 after one.
Hardaway had 12 to lead all scorers while Bowen had 9. Francis was 0-4 in the period. Hakeem probably had Pat Riley drooling, leading the Rockets with 8 points on 4-5 shooting in the first period. He consistently burned Brian Grant in the post.
The second quarter was just sick.
The Heat's defense completely shut down the Rockets while Houston could do nothing to shut down the hot-shooting Heat.
The Rockets got as close as 6, down 41-35, but Miami ran off 10 straight and the defense, led by Eddie Jones, kept the Rockets down. It was 58-40 Miami at intermission.
Hakeem had 10 and so did Francis, who shot just 3-11 from the floor. Mobley also was 2-6. The Rockets shot just 34.9% from the floor in the second half. The Heat? 57.1%. Hardaway had 15 while Eddie Jones and Anthony Carter each scored 10.
The third quarter saw the Heat continue to pour it on early.
They built the lead up to as much as 23, and just coasted from there. It was 76-59 Heat after three. The Rockets continued shooting in the low 30 percentile range.
The fourth was nothing but a formality. Both teams went through the motions... the Rockets put up a lethargic effort and were dominated defensively by the Heat. They deserved the loss.