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12/12/2001 - Houston Chronicle
Rockets miss their shot in OT
12/12/2001 - Indianapolis Star
Pacers rally to extend Rockets' drought
12/12/2001 - Indianapolis Star
This time, Rockets complain about refs
12/12/2001 - Indianapolis Star
Rookie stands in for Rockets
Dirty Dozen
OT misfires at buzzer in OT, Pacers escape from Rockets 108-106
By Clutch
DECEMBER 14, 2001 12:26 AM  |  BOX SCORE  |  HISTORY VS. PACERS

How Torres managed to score 20 plus points after hounding Regge Miller off picks all night I'll never know. Contested Miller all night, forcing him into throwing up prayers that were unfortunately answered. Simply, this kid is amazing.
Two horrendous calls that may have been the deciding factor in the loss. The first was a obvious three-point bucket that was waved off as a two point score. The second was even worse and came during a more crucial part of the game. Moochie pump faked the opposing player in the air so bad that the player use his head as a park bench -- surely that is a foul in the rule book somewhere -- But no call. Timeclock expired. change of posession. Rockets lose again.

Rockin-Rocked text by ROCKETBOOSTER of the Clutch BBS

The streak knows no end.

The Rockets played tough, forcing the Pacers in to overtime in Indianapolis, but they couldn't stop the losing streak from reaching 12 games as Reggie Miller hit a late three to help the Pacers pull out a 108-106 win.

The Rockets fell to 7-17 on the season, 10.5 games back of the Spurs in the Midwest. The Rockets, at 17 losses, have more defeats than any team in the league, Chicago, Miami and Memphis included.

That's how badly things have gotten so quickly, and the reason a healthy Steve Francis can't come back soon enough.

The Rockets had worked some magic in the final 42 seconds of regulation. Down six, Cuttino Mobley nailed a three, and after Miller (25 points) missed a triple, Moochie Norris banked in a three with 0.6 seconds left to tie the game at 96.

Oscar Torres led the Rockets with 24 points (though he hit just 7-18 from the floor) and grabbed 7 boards. He nailed a three early in overtime to put Houston up 3 at 101-98 and hit two free throws with just over 4 seconds left to put the Rockets within one. After the Rockets fouled Travis Best and he made just 1-2 free throws, Torres put up a three at the buzzer for the win, but it back-ironed, and that was it.

But the big bright spot for the Rockets has been the rookie Torres, who has played hard on all sides of the ball and isn't afraid to take a big shot.

Mobley scored 18 points, but could manage just 5-16 shooting (2-5 from long range). He fouled out late in OT and the officiating, which by all accounts was bad and costly for the Rockets, got to Mobley. He blasted referee Pat Fraher after the game, and no doubt will be fined for it.

Another bright spot: Kenny Thomas may have snapped out of a personal slump. KT, who was 7-26 (27%) in his last 2 games, hit 9-16 shots for 22 points and 5 boards.

Meanwhile, Eddie Griffin continues to struggle shooting the ball. He missed 6 of his 7 shots (though his one bucket was a killer one-handed layin on the break that the Pacers' accouncers raved about and drew comparisons to Scottie Pippen -- which killed the moment for me).

It wasn't just Griffin though -- the Rockets continue to underachieve trying to put the ball in the hole. 38% shooting while the Pacers shot just under 45%. A big reason the Rockets were this close to the win was they turned it over just 6 times.


Clutch can be reached at clutch@clutchcity.net and also can be followed on Twitter



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