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3/22/2000 - Houston Chronicle
Dose of the Clippers gets Rockets healthy
Rocks Clip Losing Skid
Francis, Mobley go for career highs, Rockets defeat Clippers
By Clutch

Steve Francis was hopping all over the place, Walt Williams was knocking down long jumpers and Cuttino Mobley was driving at will. The trio did it all for the Rockets. No really, they did.
Nothing will express more the frustration of being a Clipper than Lamar Odom snapping late in the game and tossing the ball the length of the court, picking up the technical. Hey Lamar, see you in 2003.
It was "No Defense" night in the Compaq Center.

In other words, the Clippers were in town.

The Rockets ran the Clippers out of the building in the second half, scoring 64 points in the third and fourth quarters to pull away from the Clips and take the 110-95 win, ending their 8-game losing streak.

The Clippers have always been bad, but I don't think I've ever seen a team this bad. Lamar Odom (28 points, 6 boards) is one bright spot, but how long before he bolts, along with any other player worth a damn? NBA needs to get in there and shut this club down... or find some new ownership.

You knew the Rockets were going to win when Moochie Norris (6 assists) came out out with the braided weave, wrapping up that mop he had going. He must have switched because he saw what the future holds for nasty ass hairdoos: Keith Closs.

Don't want to take credit away from the Rocks, who destroyed the Clippers late -- they can thank Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley and Walt Williams for that, all of whom went for career or season highs.

Francis had 11 points, 7 boards and 4 assists after one quarter, and seemed to be everywhere -- steals, alleyoops, slams -- lots of slams... with the contest well in hand late he had a massive power dunk over Lamar Odom (see picture), and even picked up the T for handing the ball to Odom after the slam (you know, as a reminder).

Franchise finished with a career high 34 points (on 13-19 shooting), 14 assists, 9 rebounds and 3 steals. Rudy T got some abuse initially from the BBS faithful for not leaving Stevie in late to get the triple double (one board short), but Francis actually asked out of the game with 2:20 left.

"We've got a game tomorrow and I wanted to come out after the game was decided to get some rest," Francis said. "I'm more happy to get the win than to get a triple-double."

Rudy T apparently liked that attitude: "He was tremendous. He had a chance to get a triple-double and for a minute we kept him in for him to try and get it. But when he didn't get it for about a minute he told me to take him out and let someone else get in. That's the kind of kid he is. He wants to do it the right way and his game speaks for itself."

Mobley also put up big offensive numbers, tying a career high with 30 points, hitting 13-23 shots, grabbing 7 boards and 4 assists. Huge offensive game -- but don't look at the turnovers. Cat had nearly half the team's 18 miscues with 8 himself.

Boy did he have a sweet dunk in the second half... Francis found him on the fast break and he came flying in for the left-handed rim-rattler.

Not to be overshadowed by the guard duo's 64 points is the Wizard: Walt Williams. Walt, who has been stroking the ball lately, scored a season high 21 points, hit 10-15 shots, grabbed 7 boards, handed out 6 assists and picked 4 steals.

Damn, those are Scottie Pippen numbers... 10 years ago... when he was decent.

The Walt, Cat and Francis tally: 85 of the team's 110 points, 36-57 shooting (63%), 23 of the team's 40 rebounds, 24 of the team's 34 assists and 8 of the team's 9 steals.

Need I talk about any one else's numbers?

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