Migraines are absolutely tearing apart Steve Francis, and as a result, the Houston Rockets.
But this time, Francis played through the pain ... and it paid off.
Francis finished with 20 points and 9 boards, including a pair of triples late in the third to help the Rockets pull away, as the Rockets beat the Washington Wizards 102-89 in the nation's capital in a rare noon start Monday.
The win ups the Rockets' mark to 18-34 on the season, which currently has them tied with Cleveland for 5th worst record in the NBA.
Despite the migraine, Francis was probably on a high from the day before, having received a huge ovation before the Duke-Maryland contest as Stevie had his #23 honored in a ceremony by Maryland (and the Terrapins responded by beating Duke).
While Francis returned home though, Cuttino Mobley had a brilliant game, scoring 31 on an impressive 11-17 shooting to lead all scorers and picked a couple more steals. In his last 6 ballgames, Cuttino has 17 thefts... putting him at just under 3 a game during that span.
No wonder Kenny Thomas is quite popular around the league these days (though his salary is a big reason for that). KT added 21 points and snared 8 boards and in the 7 games since his 3-game suspension for fighting with Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Thomas is averaging 16.4 points and 9.6 boards while hitting almost 54% of his shots.
And what about Moochie Norris? My goodness. The guy almost had a triple-double! Mooch had 15 points, 12 assists and 8 boards. While he shot just 6-15 from the floor, what was most impressive was that to his 12 assists, he had just one turnover (meanwhile, Francis had 4 assists and 7 turnovers)
Michael Jordan meanwhile wasn't too impressive. The Rockets held Jordan to just 5-12 shooting for 11 points, though he did have 11 assists. Rip Hamilton led the Wizards with 21 while Chris Whitney added 19.
Now... the concern. Where is Eddie Griffin lately? The rook, who was a phenom for over a month, has cooled off. He played just 20 minutes, scoring 5 (2-7 shooting) to go with 4 boards, and in his last 8 games, Eddie is connecting on just over 31% of his shots (28-of-89 from the floor). Not good.