As the classic joke by Will goes:
"Stockton walks into a bar. Ref ignores the walk, calls a blocking foul on the bar."
Sure enough, a vintage Rockets-Jazz contest. Poor officiating, dirty play, Jazz flops and a Rocket collapse in the fourth.
John Stockton, Howard Eisley, Karl Malone and Bryon Russell combined to score 66 points as the Jazz turned a close game into a rout in the fourth quarter, beating the Rockets 101-82.
The loss is the Rockets' second straight, and drops their record to 24-37.
The veteran bastards pulled it out again, as they have now 12 straight times in the regular season against Houston. After owning the Jazz for years, it's obvious the deed has long since been signed over.
The Jazz shot 57% from both the field overall and from three-point range (8-14). The Rockets, who were without Walt Williams (back spasms... hanging out too much with Matt Bullard?) and Cuttino Mobley (in Philly for personal reasons), shot 47.7% and 31% from long range.
Who played well? Moochie Norris and Kelvin Cato come to mind.
Moochie tied his career high with 16 points, adding 4 boards, 4 assists and a pair of steals. What was more impressive was he hit 7 of 9 shots to do it.
Cato, backing up Hakeem Olajuwon (16 minutes, 4 points), played 27 minutes, hitting 6-9 shots for 15 points.
Steve Francis had his problems, and hasn't shot well against the Jazz in any of the 3 games versus Utah. Steve shot 6-17 from the field, finishing with 14 points, 6 assists and 2 steals.
The nice thing was seeing Shandon Anderson play well against his former team. Still booed each time he touched the ball, Anderson hit 5-10 shots for 16 points. On one play he went up for a dunk and was floored by Karl Malone, getting no call. What was great to see though was on the other end Anderson chased Bryon Russell around a pick (by Malone) and hammered him back.
Of course the whistle blew but anyone who knocks Malone on his ass gets my respect.
Bryce Drew saw significant time for the first time in a while (thanks to the absence of Mobley), playing 31 minutes, scoring 11 points on 3-9 shooting.
The Rockets trailed just 69-64 after three, but collapsed from there. The Jazz built the lead up to 20 in what seemed like no time and the Rockets kind of rolled over as the Jazz soared.