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Back from the All Star break, the Rockets got some revenge for a recent loss in Detroit, beating the Pistons in the Compaq Center 107-102.
The win improves the Rockets' record to 21-30.
Though the team got some balanced scoring (6 Rocks scored in double figures), it was the three-headed offensive monster of Shandon Anderson, Cuttino Mobley and Kenny Thomas doing the bulk of the damage.
They combined for 63 points.
Shandon led the way, going off for 11 of his team-high 25 in the first quarter. The man took 20 shots (how often do you see Steady Shan put the rock up 20 times?), hit 9 of them and added 6 boards, 4 assists and 3 steals.
Hell of a game.
Cat, backing up Shandon, then dropped in 21 points of his own, hitting 5-12 (3-5 from downtown) to gowith 4 boards, 4 assists and a pair of steals.
Meanwhile, rookie Kenny put up 17 big points on 7-10 shooting to go with 7 boards in 32 minutes off the bench. He hit a killer three with just over a second left that cooled a big Pistons rally and gave the Rocks a 5-point edge heading into the fourth.
The man was clutch.
Hakeem Olajuwon continues to back up Kelvin Cato and in 20 minutes off the bench Dream knocked down 11 points on 5-8 from the floor and grabbed 7 boards.
Cato hit 2-5 from the floor for 5 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Franchise, Steve Francis, scored 10 points, grabbed 6 boards and dished 7 assists. Bryce Drew missed the three shots he took, but handed out 6 assists in 18 minutes backing up Francis.
Walt Williams scored 13 points in just 16 minutes. Geez, he ain't shy.
The Rockets hit nearly 42% from long range (10-24) as Mobley and Williams combined to go 6-10 from the cheap seats.
The Rockets led 18-17 with just over 2 minutes to go in the first and were sparked by a Francis steal and slam off an inbounds -- it energized the team to the tune of a 14-2 run, capped by a Mobley three-pointer with about 11 minutes to go in the second period.
The Rockets soon thereafter in the second period upped their lead to 15 and they had it in cruise control, leading 55-41 at half.
I have to admit I was on the phone and doing some stuff for SaveOurRockets.com when I missed Rockets Chief Operating Officer George Postolos being interviewed at halftime when he stated the Save Our Rockets movement has had a big effect on the HSA and Rockets finally meeting and the current relationship. I got flooded with email about it seconds afterwards.
That and the number of times I conveniently missed huge Rocket dunks each time I made a kitchen-quesadilla run and it was obvious it wasn't my night.
I digress -- back to the game. The Pistons came charging hard in the third behind Jerry Stackhouse (29 points) and Grant Hill (23 points, 11 boards, 6 assists) and trimmed the lead to two before KT's three that made it 81-76 heading into the final frame.