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1/4/2004 - Houston Chronicle
Rockets' win gives fans sign of relief
1/4/2004 - Houston Chronicle
Yao NBA's Player of the Meek
1/4/2004 - Contra Costa Times
Cold Warriors hit rock bottom
1/4/2004 - San Francisco Chronicle
Losing streak hits 6 vs. stingy Rockets
Taylor Keeps Warriors At Bay
Mo Taylor scores 25, grabs 8 boards to fuel Houston past Golden State
By Clutch
JANUARY 5, 2004 9:43 PM  |  BOX SCORE  |  HISTORY VS. WARRIORS

Strength at the Four: Mo Taylor came up big in the fourth quarter, finishing with a season-high 25 points against the Warriors (AP photo)
No question. In the first and fourth quarters, the Rockets offense was downright pitiful, but Mo was the real exception, particularly in the fourth. His 12-15 foot jumper was solid all night as he finished with 25 points, 8 boards and 4 assists.
A season-high 12 assists from Steve, so it's hard to slight him, but scoreless for the first 46 minutes after missing his first 10 shots? 7 turnovers to boot. Steve's shooting percentage, now officially at 39% on the nose, is a reason for concern.
Game Notes:
The Rockets were just awful to start the game. They went right to Yao and he looked pretty bad, picking up two fouls fairly early and earning a seat on the bench. The Rocks were completely scoreless until the 7:51 mark of the first quarter and had just 4 points through the first nearly 8 minutes of the game. In the quiet Toyota Center it was a morgue and you could clearly hear some boos starting.

Francis, despite going 0-3 from the floor in the period, would later save some Rocket face with some nifty passing. He had three quick assists to get the Rockets going, including a nice full-court pass to a streaking Mobley for two. He had six assists in the period.

Despite Yao, Francis and Cuttino Mobley going a combined 2-11 from the floor, the Rockets still led 16-14 after one.

The offense came around in the second quarter, thanks to Maurice Taylor. Mo hit 4-5 shots in the period and dished a couple of assists, including one at the second quarter buzzer to Jim Jackson, who nailed a 19-foot shot as the horn sounded. At half, the Rockets led 42-32.

For a change, the power forwards were leading the way: Taylor had 12 points and 6 boards while Kelvin Cato, playing heavier minutes than usual in Yao's stead, had 9 points, 5 boards and a block. The Rockets defense was the real story as they held the Warriors to 33% shooting.

Mobley and Jim Jackson both came alive in the third and the Rockets kept the Warriors at bay, leading 66-53 after three. Strangely Francis was completely scoreless, going 0-7 from the floor, yet he had 11 assists (season high).

Francis missed his first three shots of the fourth and it was unbelievable -- 0-10 shooting.

The Warriors were threatening and every Rocket was struggling, except one: Maurice Taylor. Through the first 10 minutes of the fourth quarter, Mo was 5-7 from the floor while the rest of the Rockets were 0-9. His hot shooting was enough to keep the lead in double digits.

And with just under 2 minutes left in the game, Francis hit a runner in the lane that brought out huge cheers from the crowd. Stevie laughed and threw his arms up in the air. He was off the hook of a goose egg.


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