There we were, in the Chat room, some 20+ of us as we usually are at game time, talking about potential winning headlines for the page and bragging about Steve Francis' big game.
Boy, was that a humbling last few minutes.
Mookie Blaylock sparked a 9-0 finishing run in the final 1:12 of the game as Francis' first career triple double was wasted by the Warriors' stunning 115-110 win on the Compaq Center floor.
Golden State only had 8 players suit up. The Rockets, after a 6-game winning streak, have now dropped 2 in a row... both at home.
What a game it was for the young franchise too. Francis exploded for 25 points, 17 rebounds (yes, at last check he is 6'3" and plays point) and 14 assists. He had a triple double in the middle of the third quarter.
But he was as guilty as the rest of the Rocks late, commiting a costly turnover that aided in the Warriors' comeback.
It can't be all negative though ... the win is what matters most, but those numbers aren't to be taken lightly. Any point guard who scores 25 points and hands out 14 assists belongs in the All Star game.
Throw in 17 boards and you're talking Hall of Fame.
Hell, his own wing in the building.
The recipient of many of Francis' 14 assists? Pig Miller, fresh off signing a contract for the rest of the year.
Pig scored a career high 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds (7 offensive). His previous career high was 18 points, set back in March of 1995 against the Kings when Pig was a Laker (aren't all Lakers pigs?).
Matt Bullard finished with 17 points -- 15 of those came in the first 9 and a half minutes of the first quarter. Cuttino Mobley hit 4-10 from the field for 14 points.
We personally didn't think Kenny Thomas got much of a fair shake from the refs tonight. He scored 9 points but was saddled with foul trouble all night... and some ticky-tack fouls to boot.
Shandon Anderson had a tough shooting night, hitting 5-14 from the field for 11 points. He had a big shot that put the Rockets up 4 with 1:12 to go, but that was the end of the Rockets' scoring. He missed a shot that proved costly, as Blaylock immediately countered with a three that gave the Warriors their first lead in some time... and one they wouldn't relinquish.
Bullard started out red hot - scoring 8 points in 2 and a half minutes on a pair of threes and another jumper. After a Walt Williams (9 points) give and go to Pig Miller, the Rockets led 12-4.
Two sweet plays for the Rockets back to back. On one, Walt faked a three, found Francis underneath who found Pig by his side for the dish and slam. It was Francis' 4th assist. Next time down the court Francis blew by Mookie and got fouled by Caffey and got the bucket - after the free throw the Rockets led 23-13.
Pig Miller, after another feed from Francis, had his season high in points (10) and there were still over 4 minutes to go in the first. And that's nothing ... Bullard nailed another three-pointer, putting him at 15 points, and there was still 2:25 left to go in the first quarter.
The Rockets led 30-23 at that point but collapsed ending the first as Golden State ran off 9 straight points to take a 32-30 lead.
After Vonteego Cummings nailed a long three as time expired in the quarter, the Warriors capped a 15-2 run and took a 37-32 lead heading into the second. The Warriors were shooting 70% at this point.
Bryce Drew played a role here. I don't mean to be harsh on the guy because I believe in Drew, but especially lately, he's not looked good. Vonteego Cummings was eating him alive. After a Vonteego steal and fast break layup, the Warriors led 42-32 and the run for Golden State was 19-2. After a Cuttino three, the Warriors lead was 46-38.
Drew was getting badly burned by Vonteego, but in came Francis with the Rockets down 48-38. Boom! Just like that Francis nailed a three-pointer then a driving layup and the Rockets trailed by just 5.
Pig and Francis worked nicely on a fast break, ending in a Pig Miller bucket and foul (he missed the free throw), and the Rockets trailed just 56-54 and Francis had his 9th assist.
After Francis took it coast to coast and got the foul, the Rockets regained the lead 59-58. Cuttino nailed a three, but Jamison and Marshall each scored buckets and the half ended 62 all.
Pig Miller scored 5 quick points in the third and the Rockets led 72-71. After a double pump bucket by Pig, he had 19 points, a new career high, and the Rockets led 79-77.
With about 2:40 to go in the third, Francis grabbed his 10th board, giving him his first career triple double at 16 points, 13 assists and 10 boards at that point.
Mobley stuck a jumper in Sam Jacobson's mug and the Rockets led 88-85. The Warriors would score 2 more before the third quarter ended: 88-87 Rockets.
A Walt Williams jumper gave the Rockets a 94-89 lead. A three-point play by Kenny Thomas off a dish from Drew upped the Rocket lead to 97-90.
The Warriors refused to die though, and thanks to offensive boards, they cut the lead to 100-97.
Francis countered with a rebound (his 15th) off a Warrior miss and a coast to coast layup and foul, upping the Rockets lead to 103-97. However, the Warriors came back again and trailed by just 2, but with 1:12 to go, Shandon Anderson scored a bucket from some Miller "Pig feed" and the lead was 110-106.
That was the end of the Rocket scoring.
The Warriors got a quick 2, and after a Shandon miss, Mookie nailed the backbreaking three on a mini-fast break and just like that, with 32.6 ticks remaining, the Warriors took the lead 111-110.