The Cleveleland Cavaliers, losers of 6 straight, and the Houston Rockets, losers of 7 straight, squared off in Gund Arena and only one losing streak came out alive.
Ugh. Houston's, ahem... prevailed.
The Cavaliers outscored the Rockets by 13 in the second half, beating Houston 98-85 in Cleveland. The loss is the Rockets' 8th straight and completes an 0-5 East Coast road swing.
I've just got one question:
Anyone know what is up with Moochie Norris' chia pet hairdoo? As it gets wider so does the Rockets current slide. Have you looked at the photos since before the skid? I think there's a correlation.
I digress. Shawn Kemp scored 17 points and grabbed 10 boards, Lamond Murray knocked down 17 and Bobby Sura added 16 to pace the Cavs.
The Rockets were led scoring-wise by Steve Francis and Walt Williams, who played just 29 and 20 minutes respectively. Each scored 17 points -- Francis hit 8-14 shots and added 5 boards and 4 assists (though he turned it over 5 times) and Walt hit 7-9 shots and added 6 boards.
After that, slim pickings.
Cuttino Mobley scored 11 points while Kelvin Cato scored 10, grabbed 7 boards, picked 3 steals and blocked 3 shots. Each hit 4-10. Moochie added 8 points and 4 assists but could manage jut 3-11 from the field. Hakeem Olajuwon would score just 2 points in 16 minutes... going 1-5 from the field. Carlos Rogers scored 8 points and grabbed 7 boards, but was a dismal 2-8 from the charity stripe.
In fact the Rockets, who have been awful from the line at times this season, shot just 12-23 (52%) from the line on the night. Sloppy play (21 tunovers) didn't help much neither.
Francis got them going early, scoring 5 quick points -- the first two on a sweet reverse layup. Hilarious play involving Francis though in the first quarter ... the Rockets got going on a fast break and Francis took off, caught up to Brevin Knight before they reached the halfcourt line and literally grabbed Knight and threw him to the ground. Francis was then way ahead of the pack and threw down a massive alleyoop, but the refs caught on (a little late) and whistled Francis for the obvious foul.
Ugly shooting first quarter as the Cavs led 18-17 after one.
The Rockets got going though in the second quarter. Mobley penetrated and found Cato for a nasty slam and foul, Drew hit a long jumper than Moochie Norris took it coast to coast for a layup and it was 30-25 Rockets.
The Cavs however, sparked by a Bobby Sura three-pointer, ran off 9 straight points to take a 34-30 edge. At the half it was 39 all.
In the first 2:40 of the third quarter, Walt Williams scored 10 points -- all 10 the Rockets had at that point of the quarter. But Andre Miller scored 10 and Lamond Murray 9 in the period and the Cavs took a 69-62 lead heading in to the final frame.
The fourth quarter was just flat ugly and when the Cavs ran off a few straight buckets to make it 82-68, it was all but over.