Scratch Atlanta off the list as possible destinations for the franchise. I don't think the Rockets want to go back.
Though Cuttino Mobley would score a career high 30 points, the Rockets were blown out early, losing to the Hawks 116-100 in Atlanta.
The Rockets now go in to the 5-6 day All-Star break with a 20-30 record.
The Hawks were 18-28 going in to the game but you never would have known it by the way they took the Rockets to the woodshed. Jim Jackson scored 23 in just over 30 minutes, Bimbo Coles played 24 minutes and put up 16 points, 8 boards and 5 assists while 5 other Hawks scored in double figures as well.
The Hawks shot over 56% from the field (Rockets 42%) and dominated the Rockets on the boards, 52-32.
It was a laugher from the middle of the first quarter on.
Mobley was the big bright spot for the Rockets. He drained 12-19 from the floor and 5-6 from the charity stripe for a career high 30 points, though he did little else (2 boards, 1 assists, 1 steal).
Steve Francis played just 24 minutes, scoring 13 points on 5-13 from the floor. Dream also played limited time (21 minutes), scoring 12.
Kenny Thomas knocked down 10 and 5, while Bryce Drew came off the bench to score 11 points. Kelvin Cato got the heave after picking up a double technical in the third for arguing a no-call on Dik Mutumbo. He left with just 4 points and no blocks.
The most assists by any player was 3 by Bryce. Hell, Moochie Norris played 8 garbage minutes and handed out a pair.
Moochie had a nice play late too, picking a steal and finding Cuttino for two on a break.
In case you hadn't noticed, I'm trying to say Moochie as many times as possible, but the little guy looked OK out there (from whatever you can tell in 8 minutes).
Francis came out stronger than the Cleveland game, hitting his first 2 buckets but the Rockets trailed 11-9 ... that was before a 10-0 run by Atlanta that made it 21-9.
But Bullard and Walt hit back to back threes to make it 21-15.
But the Rockets couldn't stop Jim Jackson as Atlanta finished on a 9-2 run to lead 30-17 after one.
The Hawks kept pouring it on. Jackson added 3 more buckets to have 19 points on 9-10 shooting at the 7-1/2 minutes mark in the second quarter. When Jason Terry added a free throw line jumper it was 46-26 Atlanta.
Terry added three more buckets and it was 52-30 Atlanta. As Bill Worrell stated, the Rockets "weren't even contesting" some of the Hawks' shots. The Hawks hit their 13th field goal in the quarter, making it 58-35 Hawks -- the Rockets at that point had 11 field goals for the game.
65-44 Hawks at half.
It didn't stop in the third. The Hawks kept pouring it on, scoring 7 straight as a Bimbo Coles fast break bucket made it 72-44 Atlanta. With the Rockets down 79-53, Cato picked up a double technical for arguing a no-call in the paint and was tossed from the game. The Hawks then made it 82-53.
Thanks to Cat, the Rockets went on a 13-2 run in the fourth to cut the lead to 106-85, but it was to save face only.
AtlantaRocketsFan of the Clutch BBS was at the game... be sure to check out his comments from watching the Rockets at the game.