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11/22/2000 - Boston Globe
Celtics' improvement shows from beginning
11/21/2000 - Houston Chronicle
Rockets' roller coaster hits bottom
Boston Massacre
Celtics embarrass poor-shooting Rockets 96-81 in Fleet Center
By Clutch

8 points and 7 boards in just over 20 minutes isn't bad, but he returned to sender 5 Rocket shots, setting the defensive tone for Pitino's Boys
In all honesty any one of the Rockets could have been here, but Francis with just 6 points and 4 assists? OUCH

Making shots at an anemic 31.8% clip (and lets face it: It took some freebie buckets at the end to make it that good), the Rockets were destroyed by the Celtics 96-81 in the Fleet Center Wednesday night in a game that was never close.

The loss drops the Rockets' record to 7-6 with a matchup in Miami against the Heat on tap for Saturday.

The Rockets couldn't throw it in the ocean... or for that matter find the shore.

How bad was it? My parents, sitting courtside at the Fleet Center, even called me at halftime to say how pathetic it was.

Maurice Taylor? 1-9 shooting. Jason Collier? 3-10. Hakeem Olajuwon? 4-13. Cuttino Mobley led the team in scoring with 17 points and even he clanged 12 of his 17 shots.

And then there was the fact that Steve Francis was nowhere to be found.

Francis managed just 6 points and 4 assists in 27 minutes of action, going 2-7 from the field. You can't get that from your leader and expect to win a game.

One silver lining on this jet black cloud was Mo Taylor grabbed 7 boards in 28 minutes.

Though the Rockets were dismal with the flick of the wrist, and it would have taken a jackhammer beating to get a call from the refs, you have to prop the Celtics defense. The Rockets made Tony Battie look like Bill Russell with 5 blocks guarding the interior.

Paul Pierce led Boston with 16 points while Antoine Walker had 13 points, 13 boards and 8 assists.

Game Notes:
The game started out with a sure-fire recipe for disaster: inability to make a shot and an inability to stop the opposing team from scoring.

The Celtics used 5 quick layups to burst out to leads of 10-0, 16-3 and 26-10. Though the first 8 minutes the Rockets were shooting 25% from the floor... the Celtics? 74%.

It was 30-17 through one... then the Celts ran off on a 6-0 run to start the second quarter. Then it was a 14-2 run after the Celts took a 42-19 lead. The Rockets were 8-37 (21.6%) from the field at this stage.

At the half it was 44-28 Celtics. The Rockets could not shoot the ball for the life of them... but in the paint they were especially awful. Collier, Olajuwon, Taylor and Kenny Thomas were a combined 3-23 from the floor (13%) for 10 points. Mobley led the Rockets with 8, Francis 6. Paul Pierce had 10 for the Celtics.

It just kept getting worse for the Rockets in the third.... Mobley missed his next 7 shots and the Celtics ran off another 30 points, racing to a 74-51 lead after three.

Fourth quarter: Did they play the fourth? I don't know. I stopped watching in favor of Punky Brewster reruns. Much more entertaining.

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