Thank God for the Clippers.
Stuck in the midst of a 5-game losing streak, the Rockets got the equivalent of a forfeit by facing the LA Clippers, who shot a Rodrick Rhodes-esque 26.8% and got trounced by the Rocks 96-77.
The Rockets shot just 37.8% themselves, yet still managed to win by 19 and snap their slide.
Cuttino Mobley continues his hot scoring streak... after scoring 29 in the game (if you could call it that) against the Lakers, Cat dropped in 21 points and grabbed 8 boards (whoa!) -- leading the team in both categories. He hit 7-18 shots and 3-7 from long range.
Second in command was Matt Bullard, who scored 14 points thanks to 4-8 shooting from three-point range, grabbed 7 boards and handed out 5 assists.
Matt Bullard: Versatile.
Carlos Rogers scored 13 points (5-8 from the field) and grabbed 8 boards off the bench.
Man, how about Moochie Norris leading the team in assists? Moochie got more minutes than Bryce Drew (9 points in 19 minutes) even , handing out 7 assists, grabbing 6 boards (Moochie cleans glass!), scoring 4 points and picking a pair of steals.
Raise your hand if you think Bryce Drew will be wearing another uniform next season.
As for the guy who is locked as the starter at that position, someone please tell him there is no kryptonite in the building and it's OK for him to start kicking ass again. Steve Francis is in a huge slump. After missing 15 straight shots spanning over games with Denver and LA, Francis missed his first 7 against the Clippers and ended up shooting 2-12 from the field.
Said Francis after the game: "I'm mad about it, but I just have to keep going through it because I've never been through a spell this season like this where I couldn't shoot the ball. I got open looks and a lot of my shots were going in and out (but) I'm going to stay aggressive and keep doing the things I was doing when I was hitting shots."
It appears he's hit a bit of the "Rookie Wall" as his Rookie of the Year chances are starting to take a hit. No worries though as he'll surely snap out of it .... though sooner rather than later might be nice.
Pig Miller and Walt Williams each scored 7 points while Kenny Thomas added 6.
Thanks in large part to a 36-point second quarter, the Rockets held a huge 58-36 halftime lead. Late in the third quarter however the Clippers took off on an 18-3 run to cut the Rockets lead to 10 before Mobley and Rogers helped the Rockets increase their lead back to the 20+ area.
As for the Clippers... how in the world do you shoot less than 27%?
As for me, the business trip was long, but believe it or not I flew first class. Damn if that isn't the way to go. I mean I'm used to having a Honey Roasted-less bag of peanuts thrown at me if I'm lucky and my plastic sample-size cup of orange juice yanked before I can finish.