Shandon Anderson opened up the scoring with a three off a feed from Francis. After a Francis steal and slam it was 5-4 Rockets -- low scoring game with 8:15 to go in the first. After another three by Shandon, giving him 8 points, the Rockets led 11-10.
Then came a sweet set of plays. Mobley came off the bench and scored 5 quick points in 4 minutes, then he knocked a pass from Cliff Robinson and Steve Francis, like a friggin' bullet, came flying in, picked it up and took off for the fast break slam. Rockets then forced a brick by Todd Day... then found Mobley on the wing who blew by his man and found Francis in the paint who layed it up and got fouled.
Rockets led 21-12 in no time.
Then off a Cato steal Mobley pulled up and nailed a three, then knocked down two more free throws and the Rockets led 26-14 (and Mobley had 10 points in just over 5 minutes). It was 26-18 Rockets after one.
The Rockets closed the quarter on a 15-6 run and all 15 points were scored by Francis or Mobley.
Shandon Anderson busted out to start the second quarter hitting two three-pointers back to back (giving him 4 threes and 14 points at this stage) and the Rocks led 32-18, then Mobley hit another three-pointer (Cat hit his first three 3's), the lead was 17 and boos started to cascade down on the Suns.
After two more quick Mobley scores (giving him 19 points in 15 minutes), the Rockets led 43-30.
The Rockets led 51-38 at the half, fueled by Mobley's 20 points.
Phoenix came hard charging in the second half and got to within 7, but Shandon scored 5 quick points and Steve Francis came out hot, scoring 9 straight points (8-9 from the field, 19 points and 7 assists at this stage) and the Rockets led 71-58.
But the Suns closed the third quarter on a 16-3 run, capped by a Cliff Robinson three-pointer seconds before the horn, and the Rockets were clinging to a 74-71 lead heading into the fourth.
The Rockets' scoring was all the guards: 22 for Francis, 21 for Shandon and 20 for Cat. The rest of the team? 11 points.
Shandon scored early, but Todd Day responded and after a Randy Livingston three-point play (on an invisible foul by Mobley), the game was tied at 76 -- the first tie since 12 all.
Francis busted into the lane, got the hoop and foul for a three-point play, but Nickel Hardaway responded with a three...
... then came a Sportscenter headline move by Shandon Anderson. He went right around Hardaway like he wasn't there, sped to the hoop baseline then slammed home the deuce. Hope the fans had their Nikons handy for that one.
The game was tied at 81 before Shandon hit two free throws, Moochie nailed a huge trey and then Francis was fouled on a baseline drive and Todd Day went nuts bitching to the ref about the call -- he got the heave and Francis nailed the two freebies... 88-81 Rockets.
Shandon then nailed a medium range jumper, stopping on a dime on a penetration move, then drained a three off a Moochie dish, giving him 32 points and the Rockets a 93-83 lead.
Fittingly, Shandon would ice the game, draining yet another trifecta with 1:12 to go to boost the Rockets lead to 101-92 and tying his career high with 35.