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Yao: "If It's Broke, Don't Fix It"

Hayes, Howard, Yao, Jazz timekeeper all play clutch roles in vintage Rocket defeat

TUESDAY, APRIL 11, 2006   11:50 AM CST
By Clutch
Copyright 2006
Chuck Hayes hustled, scrapped, boarded and defended all night, but when it was losing time, the Chuckwagon knew there was no need to butter the bread.

"There was a lot of pressure at the line there," said Hayes, who shanked both gimmes with 5 seconds left that would have given the Rockets the lead. "I was fortunate enough to get rattled by it."

The 83-85 defeat in Utah, coupled with yet another botched loss by Orlando, has slid Houston safely in to #9. But it was the way the Rockets played effortlessly (literally) down the stretch (0-4 from the field, 0-2 from the line in the final 2 minutes) that has experts believing this team is playing softball in their quest for the 8 spot and below.

Further solidifying the Rockets' pretender pursuit, Yao Ming snapped his left foot like a twig in the first quarter and reportedly refused medical attention, proving without a doubt that this team is unified in it's goal of "Zero Quality Tolerance" in the final four contests.

In other action, the Knicks got back to losing, getting crushed by the Pacers, to keep their "30th best team" hopes alive, but New York has traded both of their draft picks, so why the Knicks keep losing remains a mystery. Two independent sources however confirmed to ClutchFans that Knicks GM Isiah Thomas is unaware that he traded away their first rounder.

"He doesn't read much or listen to anyone really," said one source. "You got to understand, this is a guy who paid over $7500 for a #3 combo at Wendy's. It doesn't really sink in until much, much later."

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