Trailing by 10 with under 3 minutes to go and seeing fans head to the exits, there was little hope for the Rockets, who played poorly and deserved to lose at home to the just-as-lowly Warriors.
But Steve Francis jumpstarted the team and Moochie Norris hit a three-pointer with 13.2 seconds left, capping 10 unanswered points that forced overtime, where the Rockets went on to beat the Warriors 100-96 Tuesday night.
The Rockets are actually on a winning streak, upping their record to 15-30.
Francis was fantastic, finishing with 33 points, 12 boards and 7 assists, leading the Rockets in all three categories. Down 10 he converted a three-point play and put in a reverse layin alleyoop, off a feed from Cuttino Mobley, that got the Rockets within 5.
Kelvin Cato, who again had yet another double-double (12 points, 11 boards, 2 blocks, 2 steals), tipped in a Moochie miss, and after Golden State turned it over, Francis then worked the ball top of the key, penetrated and found Moochie in the exact same spot where he hit the three to beat the Knicks back on January 8th. Moochie then unleashed the bomb for the tie..... straight through the net!
Bobby Sura missed a running bank from 5-6 feet out at the buzzer, pushing the game in to OT.
In overtime, Kenny Thomas stepped up. His first game back from the three-game suspension for fighting with Shareef Abdur-Rahim, KT popped off for 23 points (9-15 shooting) and grabbed 8 boards. 6 of those points came in the overtime period.
When Moochie found KT snowbirding on the other end of the court. Thomas threw down a slam to put the Rockets up 96-90 with 43 seconds left, and that was basically game.
Mobley had a bad night shooting, hitting just 5-15 from the floor and finishing with 13 points.
Larry Hughes had 17 points and 6 assists for the Warriors, but committed 8 turnovers, including one that cost the Warriors the game with 23 ticks left in regulation. Rookie Jason Richardson scored 16 points and strangely didn't play late in the fourth when the Warriors could have used him.
Honestly, the Rockets deserved to lose this one. Before the comeback, they were shooting 39% as a team and really were complacent in the second half when the Warriors used a 19-6 run to bust open a close game.
But hey, Golden State cacked it late and the Rockets took advantage, so they redeemed themselves. They just didn't look that sharp tonight against a Warriors team that came in 5-15 on the road.
Late Fourth Quarter:
Steve Francis cut it to 5 with an alleyoop slam off a Moochie Norris feed, but Larry Hughes scored easily, and after Cuttino got called for an offensive foul, and picked up a tech for arguing, Antawn Jamison scored on a short baseline hook and with 4 minutes to go, Houston trailed by 10.
But Francis scored on a three-point play, then the Rockets picked Jamison's pocket, Cato got it out to Mobley on a fast break, who dished to Francis for an alleyoop reverse layin. Timeout Warriors with 2 minutes left. 86-81 Golden State.
Offensive rebounds for GS hurt the Rockets, but after the Rockets forced another Jamison turnover, Cato tipped in a Moochie miss. Hughes missed a jumper as the shot clock was expiring, but again they got the offensive board. But Hughes kicked the ball out of bounds with 23 seconds left. Timeout Rockets, down 86-83.
Francis then worked the ball top of the key, penetrated and found Moochie in the exact same spot where he hit the three to beat the Knicks. Moochie then fired the bomb for the tie..... booyah! 13.2 seconds left, tie game. Timeout Golden State. 10 unanswered points for the Rockets.
Bobby Sura milked the clock and missed a driving bank shot at the buzzer. Overtime.
In OT, the Warriors struck first, but KT scored two straight buckets. Hughes scored quickly to tie it at 90, but Francis hit an awesome 17-footer with 2:19 left.
Cato picked a Warrior pass, then took a feed inside from KT for a layup and the Warriors had to call timeout, down 94-90 with 1:26 to go.
Hughes then missed a drive (pushed off, no call), then KT turned it over on a drive. The Warriors missed, Cato snared the board, found Moochie who found KT snowbirding on the other end, and his emphatic slam made it 96-90 with just over 43 seconds left.
Hughes made 1-2 free throws, then Francis did the same. Chris Mills then drained a triple. Moochie made a pair at the line, and Jamison missed... Francis hit one free throw to cap the scoring and the Rockets had the game.