It was just a matter of time before Shandon Anderson had a big game.
With rookie point guard Steve Francis out due to an ankle injury, Shandon stepped up bigtime, scoring a career high 27 points to lead the Rockets past the Los Angeles Clippers 109-96 in the Clip Joint.
The win ups the Rockets' mark to 5-12 and snaps their "3-game overtime" streak.
Shandon had a monster night, playing every waking second of the ballgame (48 minutes), hitting 10-18 from the field to go with 6 asssists, 6 boards, 3 steals and 3 blocks.
For a guy who was so quiet, he made a hell of a lot of noise.
He also wasn't the only Rocket to get a career high: Kenny Thomas played brilliantly for 15 minutes off the bench, hitting 4-5 from the field for 10 points (including a huge three down the stretch) and 6 boards. With Dream and Massenburg out, he's seeing some time and responding.
Bryce Drew, who started in place of Francis, scored 15 points on 5-8 shooting, including 3-4 from way downtown. Cuttino Mobley hit just 3-10 off the bench, but still managed 15 points thanks to 9-9 free throw shooting (You listening Chuck? Oh ye who shot 4-10 from the charity stripe).
Then again, Charles Barkley may have tossed up numerous bricks from the FT line, but he had a near triple-double in Francis' absence. 12 points, 10 boards and 7 assists for the Mound.
Kelvin Cato hit 6-8 shots in 32 minutes to tally 14 points, 3 blocks and a steal. Just 2 boards, but still another quality game for Cato.
Matt Bullard added 6 points, as did Thomas Hamilton to go with 5 boards in 10 minutes.
The Rockets' offense is suddenly coming around. They had 58 points by halftime, finishing with 109. There offensive outbursts lately have pushed their scoring average per game this year to over 100. Unfortunately, Rocket opponents are averaging 102+.
Great game though as even without Francis, the Rockets continue to show improvement.