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10/31/1999 - Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Cassell leads the charge in opening victory
Two Big Losses
Rockets burned by Cassell in 98-93 loss, Rockets losing in arena vote
By Clutch

It takes a might hot performance for me to put a non-Rocket here, but that's what ex-Rocket Sam Cassell dished out in front of the fans that saw him contribute to 2 championships in Houston. Cassell hit 15-20 from the field for 35 points, 11 assists and 3 boards. Lesson #1 for Mr. Francis.
Francis played 38 minutes and hit just 4-13 from the field to go along with 6 boards, 4 assists and 3 steals. 10 of his 14 points came in the first quarter. The good news is he turned the ball over only twice.
Aliens have arrived, and they are beating up the Houston Rockets.

Ex-Rocket Sam Cassell, who reportedly called ex-Rocket Mario Elie before the game to say he would go off for 35 points, did just that, shining to the tune of 35 points and 11 assists to lead the Bucks 98-93 over the Rockets on their home floor on opening night.

Cassell gave Rocket rookie Steve Francis his first taste of regular season NBA competition. Francis shot just 4-13 from the floor for 14 points, 6 boards and 4 assists.

A taste of what Cassell is now facing off with a player very similar to him when he was with the Rocks as a rookie.

Hakeem Olajuwon scored 12 points, grabbed 11 boards, dished 7 assists and blocked a pair of shots, while Charles Barkley hit 5-6 from the field for 13 points and 11 boards.

The two-guards Cuttino Mobley and Shandon Anderson had decent games, but nothing spectacular. Anderson had 11 points and 4 assists while Mobley (6-14 from the field) scored 13 points.

Bryce Drew scored 9 points, 3 assists and 3 turnovers in 17 minutes while Kelvin Cato had 7 points, 5 boards and a pair of blocks.

The Rockets turned the ball over 18 times, and forced just 8 Buck turnovers, a trand of lopsided turnovers that has become all too familiar with Rocket teams of the late 90's.

Ray Allen scored 19 points for the Bucks -- meaning the backcourt duo of Cassell/Allen combined for 54.

To make matters worse and add insult to injury, the vote to get the Rockets a new arena officially lost, meaning the status of the Rockets in Houston could be up in the air. We've got our feelings about that mess and are upset the Houston fans would shoot it down, despite giving new stadiums to the new football team and the Houston Astros.

Meanwhile, the Spurs fans took care of business, getting a new arena for San Antonio (amazing what a championship can do in this 'what have you done for me lately?' world... after all, San Antonio only rejected the proposal the past 3 years).

The Rockets now go to Utah to face Shandon Anderson's old team on Thursday. He'll be in for a hostile reception.

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