The Rockets have some fight in them, but it hasn't altered the win-loss column one bit.
Kenny Thomas and Shareef Abdur-Rahim were ejected late in the third quarter for throwing punches, but the Rockets, trailing by just two and seeing the Hawks' best player get tossed, just watched as Jason Terry (19 points, 7 assists) and Atlanta pulled away for the 95-91 win.
The highlight of the game no doubt was the melee between KT and Shareef. The Hawks forward was hacked off because of what he viewed as a hard foul on the previous play, despite no call from the refs. Shareef then bodied up hard against KT, who took exception, throwing back an elbow.... from there, punches flew, baby. And they didn't stop. Refs and players had to separate the two.
No doubt a suspension is coming for both players.
As for the Rockets, well... they complete the East Coast road trip having dropped 4 of 5 and come home with a 13-28 record overall. The Rockets currently are the 5th worst team record-wise in the league, and rank just percentage points ahead of Denver and Memphis for worst team in the West.
The team continues its legacy of lack of ball movement and teamwork on the offensive end. More turnovers (19) than assists (17) caused enough damage while 4-21 shooting from long range sealed their fate.
Honestly, I missed this entire game due to work, but even worse, I didn't even realize the Rockets played at 1:00 in the freakin' afternoon on a Monday. I had to check in to the BBS and see a thread about an Abdur-Rahim punch to realize what the hell was going on.
I apparently didn't miss much, though numbers are good for the bigger name Rockets, which makes losing to the 14-26 Hawks even scarier. Cuttino Mobley hit 9-17 shots from the floor for 26 points to lead all scorers. He shot just 1-6 from three-point range, meaning he knocked down 8-12 from inside the triple line... a strong development for Mobley (who has struggled from inside the three).
Steve Francis nearly had his second straight triple-double, falling just one rebound shy (25 points, 10 assists, 9 boards). But 8 turnovers? In his last 3 outings, Francis has coughed it up 20 times. Migraines or a bad sign that Stevie boy is having a tough time running the offense efficiently?
Eddie Griffin also continues to play strong, hitting 6-12 shots for 16 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Kelvin Cato had 8 points and 10 boards.
The Hawks though had 6 players in double figures, and Nazr Mohammed, who has been smoking hot lately, hit 8-10 shots for 18 points and 17 boards.