Flashes of great play are there, but when it comes to the fourth quarter, the Rockets continue to switch into "Roll over and die" mode.
The Rockets, down by just one through three quarters, were awful in the fourth, squandering opportunity after opportunity as the Spurs capitalized with the 95-85 win in the Compaq Center.
The Rockets fell to 0-3 on the season and shot under 40% for the game (39.8%) and 65% from the free throw line.
Walt Williams led all scorers with 19 points but picked up his 5th foul and missed most of the fourth. Charles Barkley was right behind Walt, adding 18 points on 7-16 shooting to go along with 13 rebounds.
Cuttino Mobley finished with 14 points, hitting just 4-14 shots. Steve Francis finished with 15 points, 3 boards, 3 assists, 5 turnovers and was 0-5 from long range. He played some nice defense on the passing lanes, picking up 3 steals, but he was burned badly and often in straight up defensive situations.
Terry Porter (18 points and 5 assists off the bench) and Avery Johnson (14 points, 9 assists) had their way.
Shandon Anderson no doubt is lost. Anderson played just 17 minutes in the starting role, finishing with 2 points, 3 assists and 3 of the Rockets' 20 turnovers.
Not what he bargained for.
In fact, I doubt this is what the fans expected when Rudy said the Rockets would be running and gunning this season. Dull and tired post-up and isolation plays continue to be run through Barkley and Hakeem, and the Rockets don't have the three-point shooters to make it work (4-19 from three-point range, 0-8 in the second half).