11-17 shooting, 23 points, 7 boards and a pair of blocks. Mo struggled the previous two games but busted out with a huge performance
Clock struck 11 Tuesday night for Walt. 10 clangs and a chime. 1-11 shooting... as it was overheard in the chat room: Walt couldn't hit the ocean from a cruise ship.
Big Mo in the house!
Maurice Taylor stepped up, hitting 10 of his first 14 shots, to lead a big team effort as the Rockets crushed the Celtics 101-84 Tuesday night.
The Rockets, who have won 6 of their last 7 games, are now an astounding 17-4 against the Eastern Conference.
The Rockets did it with defense, forcing 19 Celtic turnovers and holding Boston to 36.8% shooting.
Taylor was big, scoring a team high 23 (13 in the third), grabbed 7 boards and blocked a pair of shots. That's not including his defense on Antoine Walker (19 points), who was held to 4-17 shooting. Taylor has struggled the past few games, but busted out of it tonight and his reliable jumper from 15-18 feet has been a huge asset when combined with the pick and rolls the Rockets have been running with their guards.
Francis was just 2 assists shy of a triple-double, scoring 19, 10 boards, 8 assists and 3 steals. Can't say much about him that hasn't been said -- kid has All-Star written all over him.
What's gotten in to Mobley? The dude used to score 25 a game and get maybe a board and an assist. Now he's crashing the glass (had 8 boards at half) and handing out the dimes. 10 boards and 5 assists for Mobley to go with his 17 points.
Taylor credited Hakeem Olajuwon for helping the Rockets get off on the right foot early, particularly defensively. Dream hit 5-8 shots for 13 points (6 in the first period) and blocked a pair of shots.
The Rockets trailed 4-0 after the first minute, but Cuttino Mobley knocked down back-to-back threes to make it 6-4. After Cuttino nailed a jumper (with his foot on the 3-point line), Hakeem got a deuce and Francis nailed a 10-footer, the Rockets were on an 8-0 run and up 20-11.
Dream nailed a 10-foot baseline jumper, than Francis nailed a pair of free throws to make the run 12-0. After Shandon nailed a three, the Rockets led 27-14.
The Rockets led 29-19 after one thanks to over 50% shooting and holding the Celtics to 31%. Cuttino Mobley had 8 points and 5 boards while Mo and Dream each had 6. Antoine Walker led the Celtics with 7.
The Celts came out hot in the second, cutting the lead down to 6 and forcing Rudy T to call timeout, but the Rockets responded. After Francis slammed home two, the Rockets were back up 40-27.
When Moochie Norris nailed a three as the shot clock expired, the Rockets had their biggest lead at 16 points at 45-29.
Mo Taylor capped the scoring, giving the Rockets a 53-41 edge at the half. Steve Francis had 13 points, 5 boards and 4 assists while Mobley had 12 and 8 rebounds. Mo Taylor added 10. Paul Pierce led all scorers with 22.
Mo Taylor was smoking hot in the third period. He scored 8 points in the first half of the quarter, and after nailing a 20-footer (giving him 20 points on 10-15 shooting) with over 5 minutes to go in the period, the Rockets led 69-54.
After Mo Taylor picked a Celtic pass, Francis found Mobley streaking for a slam and it was 74-56 Rockets.
The Rockets led 82-63 after three thanks in large part to Mo Taylor's 23 points and 7 boards. Francis had 16 points, 8 boards and 7 assists while Mobley (15) and Hakeem (13) also were big.
Francis followed up a technical by ripping a three, putting the Rockets up 86-66. From there the Rockets more than kept their lead, and halfway through the period the reserves were in.
Garbage time rightfully deserved as the Rockets got a big win.