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Recap: Warriors 88, Rockets 91

No TMac to deal with tonight. The Rockets are 0-13 in games that TMac doesn't play and 0-3 in games he is unable to finish. So they're basically 0-16 without TMac. The Warriors should win right? Well, now make that 1-16 without TMac.



The word is synonymous with the Warriors. I'm starting to get used to it again after having high hopes. This season is turning into a repeat of the past 11 unless something happens soon.

But I digress, let's break this game down.

The Warriors once again started slowly. They found themselves in an 8 point hole in the first quarter only to claw back and close the gap to 2 points by the end of the period. This was the theme of the first 3 quarters. The Warriors would make a little run to close the gap, but the Rockets always had an answer for that run with a run of their own. It seemed that whenever the Warriors looked like they might take the lead, there was David Wesley, Juwan Howard, Keith Bogans, Yao Ming, or Luther Head scoring consecutive buckets and keeping the Warriors at bay. That is until the fourth quarter where the Warriors were able to take the lead. More on that later.

Yao was big trouble in the first half.
A big reason the Warriors weren't able to make that push was due to foul trouble. is Foyle collected 2 fouls in the first 3 minutes trying to guard Yao and then Biedrins came in and did the same. This forced two poor defenders, Murphy and Diogu, to try to guard the humungo genetically engineered Chinese man. Not surprisingly, the giant scores 16 in the first half as the poor defense and small size inside had trouble keeping Yao out of the paint to prevent easy second chance points. When you can't defend the big man inside, even if you make a small run, they just dump the ball inside to the big man for easy buckets. Coincidentally, in the 2nd half Foyle and Biedrins returned but stayed out of foul trouble for the most part and were able to defend Yao. Guess how many points Yao scored in the second half? 6. Guess what allowed the Warriors to come back? Not allowing Yao to get those easy second chance buckets.

By the way, props to Derek Fisher for playing well tonight with solid defense even collecting 5 steals. The highlight of the night was him winning a jump ball against Yao. He must give up 18 inches to the big man but was able to outjump him for the ball.

Anyways, the fourth quarter is where it got interesting and where the Warriors blew it. Down 8 heading into the fourth, things looked bleak, but a quick 3 from JRich, another bucket and then another 3 from JRich ties the game up. The first 3 quarters would have you think the Rockets would take the lead again but this quarter seemed different with JRich's scoring. But here's where things go sour. It was just too good to be true. Inexplicably, Monty pulls JRich with about 9:30 to go in the 4th and a 2 point lead. He had just scored 8 points to start the 4th. He's hot, he's on fire, whatever you want to call it, he must have had about 31 points at that time of the game. Why do you pull out your only scorer when he's hot and you've had trouble scoring lately? To give him a rest? He can rest when he cools off and the Warriors might have a double digit lead.

Now compound JRich leaving the game and the Rockets stuck on 0 points scored for the first 6 minutes of the fourth and you don't understand how the Warriors could lose. No JRich = no scoring. The Rockets don't score until 5:54 left in the fourth. You know how many points the Warriors scored from 9:30 when JRich left until 5:54? 4 points. Three and a half minutes and they scored 4 points! This after scoring 8 in the first 2 and half minutes. Is this a coincidence when JRich was taken out? Hell no. Sure blame the other Warrior players for not scoring, Dunleavy missing a couple free throws, Fisher not converting, Pietrus was MIA, Foyle and Biedrins, etc. But to me, the biggest culprit for failing to provide any points was Troy Murphy. He had 15 points with about 9 minutes to go in the 3rd. He ended the game with a total of 15 points. His scoring disappeared the last 21 minutes of the game. I know Pietrus and Dunleavy scored 2 points each, but they are not leaned on to score like Murphy is. I don't expect scoring from them, I don't expect them to hit big shots when the Warriors need it. You can't disappear like that in the 2nd half after pouring in 15 in the first half plus. Murphy is supposed to be the second best player for the Warriors tonight. I applaud his 17 boards, but when the Warriors needed points any points he was nowhere to be found.

Juwan's bicep clocked Dunleavy across the
head on this play. Looks like it hurts.

I'd like to rip Dunleavy and Pietrus for their poor play tonight but I'm tired of it. It's the same story. We needed Baron tonight to provide a spark on offense. Hurry back.

Warrior Wonder Jason Richardson. Go look at the boxscore. 39 points, 8 boards, 4 helpers, 2 thefts. I think his back is tired. He threw this team on his back tonight and carried them to a near win. At one point he was 7-8 from three point range. He hit big shots when they needed it, including a dunk with 30 seconds to go to bring us to within 2. His final shot, a missed 3, was challenged by Yao. I questioned whether JRich could produce in the clutch and tonight I was impressed with his ability to carry the team in the 4th. His free throws were the only downer (4-8), but other than that he had a magnificent game. If not for JRich this would have been a blowout loss.

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