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12/26/2000 - Houston Chronicle
Sonics increase Rockets' frustration
12/26/2000 - Houston Chronicle
Baker cooks in Sonics' second half
12/26/2000 - Seattle Times
Sonics lower the boom vs. Rockets
12/26/2000 - Tacoma Tribune
A big fourth quarter for Vin
Six-Pack of Losses
Skid reaches 6 as Rocks crumble in 4th, Sonics soar in 107-92 rout
By Clutch

It's your world, Mo. The big fella is making a strong push for the Rockets to get out their checkbook this summer as Taylor scored 20 and grabbed 11 boards
Walt Williams is on Perma-Got-Rocked, so this belongs to Steve. Francis missed 10 of his 13 shots, finishing with just 8 points and 4 assists in 38 minutes
Raise your hand if you're tired of the pansy ass 4th quarter outputs the Rockets have been dishing out.

(Pause for effect)

The Rockets led by 12 points late in the second quarter, and the Sonics outscored the Rockets by 29 from that point on. A 29-18 edge for the Sonics in the 4th quarter gave Seattle a 107-92 rout.

The loss is the 6th straight for the Rockets (13-15)... 5 of those losses coming at home.

Not a good sign for a club trying to stake its claim as a playoff team in the West. They are currently 11th in the West.

Few reasons for the loss:

  1. 0 for their first 11 on three-pointers and 1-13 overall. Forget that Matt Bullard nailed one in garbage time... the Rockets were awful from downtown. Walt Williams (1-7, 0-3 from long range) could barely hit the rim. Walt is in a major slump... in his last 9 games Walt is hitting less than 27% from the field (18-67).
  2. Steve Francis bricked 10 of his 13 shots for just 8 points... it epitomized his evening when in the 4th he missed an all-alone fast break dunk he tried to put some mustard on.
  3. Ruben Patterson went off for 23 points and 9 boards (5 offensive). Tim Duncan putting up those numbers I can understand... Ruben Patterson? I guess it could have been a bigger scrub.... it could have been Antonio Daniels.
  4. Seattle dominated the boards, 51-42.
One guy you can't blame is Maurice Taylor.

Mo, in 30 minutes of PT, put up 20 points on 9-13 shooting and 11 boards. The big guy in his last 7 games is averaging 17 points on 62.2% shooting (56-90) and 8.5 boards.... problem is the Rockets are 1-6 during that span.

Gary Payton led all scorers with 26 points and 10 assists, but he still missed 22 of his 32 shot attempts.

Cuttino Mobley hit some big shots, scoring 18 points, while Shandon Anderson (nice to see him do well) scored 15 points. Hakeem Olajuwon added 15 as well.

Game Notes:
Hakeem and Mo Taylor got the Rockets going early, and after Francis made a fast break layup over Brent Barry the Sonics were forced to call timeout to stop the action as Houston had a 10-2 lead early.

After Mo Taylor snared an offensive board off a Walt miss, big Mo had 8 points and the Rockets led 18-8.

The Sonics came back though -- after a pathetic call on a Francis charge, Ewing and Payton each scored buckets and the Rockets lead was down to 27-25, but with 4 seconds left in the period Cuttino nailed a baseline fadeaway and the Rockets had a 31-26 edge after one.

Mo and Hakeem each had 8 in the period while Cat had 6. Patrick Ewing and Payton (missed 8 of his 11 shots in the quarter) each had 7 for the Sonics.

The Rockets got going in the second, and after a Cuttino slam and a Shandon fast break bucket the Rockets led by 12 at 43-31.

But Payton scored 4 straight baskets without a Rocket point before Francis slammed home a dunk to make it 45-39. But it did nothing to stop the rush of the Sonics, who scored 7 more straight, capped by a Shammond Williams 3, to take their first lead of the ballgame, 46-45.

The Rockets regained the lead however, leading 52-50 at intermission.

Olajuwon led the Rockets with 11 while Cuttino had 10. Payton had 15 and 5 dimes for the Sonics.

Payton had 8 points and 4 assists while Ruben Patterson started to heat up as the Sonics led by as much as 7 in the third. The Rockets trailed 76-72 going in to the fourth quarter.

Francis missed a point blank dunk with 10:40 left that would have cut it to 2 -- instead Vin Baker hit a jumper on the other end and the Sonics led 82-76.

After Mo Taylor grabbed an offensive board and put it back in, the Rockets were within 1 at 85-84, but the Sonics responded with a 9-0 run sparked by Vin Baker, giving them a comfortable 94-84 edge.

When Ruben Patterson went around Dream and Mo T for a left-handed layin, the Sonics led 100-87 with 3:40 to go. Patterson scored again, then Payton picked up a three-point play and the Sonics completed a 20-3 run...

... and a complete rout of the Rockets.

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