When your top two guards are out, you're hurting.
When you lose to the Wariors at home, you're really hurting.
Both would apply here as the Rockets, playing without Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley, lost Saturday night 95-87 to Golden State in the Compaq Center.
The loss, their 4th straight, drops the Rockets record to .500 (13-13) and completes an 0-4 homestand.
Both Francis (ankle) and Mobley (elbow) sat this one out with injuries, and Antawn Jamison and Larry Hughes took advantage. Jamison scored a game-high 26 points and grabbed 9 boards while Hughes scored 22 points, grabbed 7 boards, 7 assists and picked 3 steals.
The Rockets turned the ball over 18 times -- 12 off of Warrior steals (Mookie Blaylock had 6).
Talk about Ironman... poor Moochie Norris never sat on the pine once, playing all 48 minutes and leading the Rockets with 19 points (8-20 shooting).
More impressive perhaps was Maurice Taylor's 12 rebounds (6 offensive) to go with his 16 points. Kenny Thomas added 9, all in the first half, but was burned badly by Marc Jackson (13 points, 13 boards) in the fourth quarter.
Hakeem Olajuwon added 15 points and 7 boards while Shandon Anderson scored 9, grabbed 10 boards and dished 6 dimes. Walt Williams scored 13, 6 assists and 5 boards, but shot just 3-10 from the floor.
One positive note was Dan Langhi got some PT (16 minutes, 6 points, 4 boards), due largely to the fact Matt Bullard didn't play. Langhi didn't look bad out there and I'd like to see him play more... he's been getting nothing but garbage time this season, if that.
Even without Francis and Mobley, the Rockets took a 27-23 lead after one behind 10 points from Dream, but the Warriors busted out for 28 points in the second quarter and we were all knotted up at 51 at intermission.
Jamison (17 points) and Hughes (11) were big for the Warriors while Dream led the Rockets with 12. Kenny Thomas dropped in 9 and Mo 8. And how about Dan Langhi not only getting PT, but scoring 6 points and 3 boards in 9 minutes?
Larry Hughes got hot though for the Warriors to start the third, and after a three the Warriors were up 7 at 63-56.
But Moochie sparked a 9-0 Rockets run with 2 driving scores -- Walt Williams followed that up with a three than Mo T a deuce and the Rockets led 65-63.
But the Warriors dropped in the next 5 points, and only a sweet Moochie drive (giving him 15 points) before the quarter expired could bring the Rockets within one -- Warriors 72, Rockets 71.
The lead went from 3 to 1 to 3 for a while for the Warriors early in the fourth, but after Walt Williams made 1-2 free throws, the Warriors ran off 6 straight points behind Marc Jackson and Antawn Jamison, giving Golden State an 84-76 lead with 7:02 left.
The Rockets made a hard push to get back, and after buckets by Moochie and Dream the Rockets trailed 87-83. They had the ball down 4 but Moochie dribbled off the entire shot clock and then passed it to Dream, who threw up a desperation baseline jumper that missed. Warirors rebound and timeout with 1:23 left.
Jamison hit a jumper with 1:05 left, but Moochie responded with a 16-foot jumper. That's when Vonteego Cummings nailed a dagger, dribbling the clock down then sinking a 17-foot jumper off a pick, giving Golden State a 91-85 lead with 36.5 seconds left.
After a Rocket timeout, Walt Williams lost the ball and that was it.