Yao gets the ball quickly down on the baseline, then quickly spins away from the basket and shoots a right-handed hook shot over Chris Mihm, misses and is fouled. I like the way Yao quickly went into his move rather than wait for the defense to collapse on him. Yao goes to the line and misses the first free throw, but makes the second. The Rockets trail 5-2.
Yao gets the ball from Jim Jackson on the right edge of the lane on Chris Mihm, then spins quickly toward the baseline, shoots a fadeaway jumper, and hits it! The score is now Lakers 5, Rockets 4. Yao is 1-for-1 from the field with 3 points.
Chris Mihm gets the ball in the lane and shoots a leaning jumper over Yao, but Yao blocks it! Even though Mihm is 7 feet tall, there was no way he was going to get that shot off over Yao.
Yao gets the ball on the left edge of the lane on Chris Mihm, then spins quickly toward the baseline and lofts a left-handed point-blank shot at the rim, but it doesn't drop for the score! He probably missed that shot because he had to shoot it left-handed because he was prevented from shooting it right-handed since part of his body was underneath the backboard. Yao is now 1-for-2 from the field with 3 points. The Rockets trail 9-6.
From the top of the three-point line, Jim Jackson throws the ball into Yao in the paint guarded one-on-one by Chris Mihm. With his back to the basket, Yao quickly spins to his left toward the bucket, bounces the ball once, elevates, shoots a right-handed scoop shot underneath Mihm's raised arms, SCORES, AND HE'S FOULED! That's a new move by Yao we hadn't really ever seen before! Nice addition to the offensive arsenal! There's no way anyone is going to be able to defend that shot! Yao goes to the line and makes the free throw. He is now 2-for-3 from the field with 6 points, and 2-of-3 from the line. The Rockets trail now 14-11.
Yao gets the ball way outside the paint near the left baseline, pump fakes a jump shot, then drives to the basket, bounces the ball once, gets contact from Brian Grant at the left edge of the lane, takes another step into the lane, elevates off his left foot, shoots a right-handed sky hook from the middle of the lane, and the ball hits the front iron and drops in for the score! Yao covered alot of ground on that shot! The Lakers thought he might have traveled, but drawing contact from Grant didn't help, so it was probably a good no-call. The Rockets trail 16-15, and Yao 3-of-4 from the line with 8 points.
Yao checks out of the game and is replaced by Dikembe Mutombo. The Rockets trail 18-15.
|2nd quarter - At the end of the first quarter, the Rockets trail 26-21. The Lakers outscored the Rockets 6-0 in the last two minutes of the quarter. Yao has 8 points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field.|
Yao checks into the game for Clarence Weatherspoon. The Rockets trail 36-25.
Yao gets the ball on the right edge of the basket, spins toward the baseline, pump fakes to get Brian Cook up in the air, leans toward the basket to put up a shot, and gets Cook to run into him. Yao gets off a shot that almost goes in! Yao goes to the line and makes both free throws, and he now has 10 points (4-of-5 from the line). The Rockets now trail 38-29 after trailing by 15 points just a few minutes earlier.
Yao misses a right-handed hook shot from the baseline along the right edge of the lane as he was double-teamed. Yao is now 3-for-5 from the field with 10 points. The Lakers lead by 11 points, 40-29.
Charlie Ward whips a pass into Yao in the middle of the paint, who is guarded one-on-one by Chris Mihm. With his back facing the basket, Yao bounces the ball once, elevates, and shoots a right-handed jump hook in the lane over Mihm, and he makes it! Yao is now 4-for-6 from the field with 12 points, and he leads all scorers. The score is 40-31.
Yao gets the ball along the right edge of the lane and immediately turns toward the baseline with a right-handed jump hook and scores. I love how Yao is making his move immediately after going into his move, which keeps the defense from being able to make adjustments. Yao is now 5-for-7 from the field with 14 points. The Rockets lead 42-33.
Yao misses a right-hand jump hook on the left side of the lane. He is now 5-for-8 from the field with 14 points. The Rockets trail 42-33.
Yao gets the ball on the right edge of the lane, goes up for a right-handed hook shot, and misses a fairly close shot that was very makeable the crowd thought he should have made. He is now 5-for-9 from the field with 14 points.
|0:53||Yao gets the ball in the middle of the lane, turns toward the basket, draws contact and shoots a two-handed shot in front of the basket...and SCORE IT! It was actually funny to see Yao bull his way to the basket and have Brian Grant pushed out of the way. He is now 6-for-10 from the field with 16 points, and the Rockets trail 47-35.|
|0:35||Yao checks out of the game for Clarence Weatherspoon. The Rockets trail 47-35, and Yao has 16 points.|
|0:07||Yao checks back into the game for Weatherspoon. The score is still the same, 47-35.|
|0:01||Yao misses a tip off a rebound which misses. Unfortunately, it counts as a missed shot. Yao is now 5-for-11 from the field with 16 points. The Rockets trail 47-35.|
|Halftime - At the end of the second quarter, the Rockets trail 47-35. In the second quarter, the Rockets only shot 6-of-18 from the field and scored 14 points (Yao had 8 of those points on 3-of-7 shooting). Yao is 5-for-11 from the field with 16 points. Outside of Yao's play, the Rockets have turned into a jump shooting team and they are lucky to only be down 12 points.|
|3rd Quarter - Yao starts the quarter.|
Yao shoots a right-handed hook shot in the middle of the lane, and it clangs off the back iron. He is now 6-for-12 from the field, and the Rockets trail 49-37.
|8:00||Yao gets the ball just inside the free throw line facing the basket, pump fakes, bounces the ball once and takes a big step to the inside right edge of the lane, goes straight up and shoots a bank shot off the glass, SCORES, AND HE'S FOULED! Again, that's a nice set of moves by Yao to get to the basket! Yao goes to the line and makes the free throw. He is now 7-for-13 from the field with 19 points. However, the Rockets trail by 20 points (59-40), thanks to Kobe Bryant scoring the first 9 points of the quarter. Yao is stepping up and keeping the Rockets in this game!|
|7:01||While on defense, Yao collides with a Lamar Odom, who is penetrating into the lane. So Yao checks out for Scott Padgett. The Rockets trail 60-40, and Yao has 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field.|
|4:35||Yao checks into the game for Maurice Taylor. The Rockets trail 62-46.|
|4:13||Yao shoots a shot from the right baseline that misses, but Scott Padgett tips it in! Yao is now 7-for-14 from the field with 19 points and the Rockets trail 62-46.|
Yao gets the ball about 3 feet outside the left edge of the lane while facing up to the basket. Yao dribbles once and takes a step toward the basket, then reverse pivots toward the basket leaving Brian Grant out of position totally fooled! Yao then takes a big step toward the hoop, leans in, and lays it in off the glass! Sweet move to leave Grant behind! And now the Rockets only trail by 9 points, 62-53. The Lakers have gone 5 minutes without a field goal. Yao has 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting.
|2:08||Yao gets the ball in about the same position as last time, but this time he drives to the baseline with his left hand, then gets to the left edge of the lane, reverse pivots away from the baseline, jumps up into the air to shoot a fadeaway shot, AND DRAINS IT!! Yao is on fire! He is now 9-for-16 from the field with 23 points, and the Rockets now only trail 64-55.|
|Yao is fouled by Brian Grant and goes to the line and makes both free throws. He now has 25 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the free throw line. The Rockets trail 64-58.|
|Yao is fouled by Brian Cook while battling for position, so Yao goes to the line and makes both free throws. The score is 64-60, and the Rockets have gone on a 23-5 run to close a 22-point deficit to four points! Yao now has 27 points, and is 9-of-10 from the free throw line.|
|4th Quarter - At the end of three quarters, the Rockets trail 66-60. The Rockets outscored the Lakers 25-19 in the quarter, and went on a 23-7 run in the final 8 minutes of the third quarter. Yao has eight of Houston's last 9 points, and 11 of the Rockets' points in the quarter.|
|10:51||Yao gets the ball on the right edge of the lane along the baseline, then goes straight up and shoots a jumper that banks off the glass for TWO! He is now 10-of-17 from the field with 29 points, and the Rockets trail 68-62.|
|6:39||Yao misses a fadeaway shot from the left edge of the lane. He is now 10-for-18 from the field. The Rockets trail 75-73.|
|5:59||Yao misses another fadeaway jumper from the exact same spot as last time. He is now 10-for-19 from the field, and the Rockets trail 75-73. They just can't seem to get over the hump right now.|
|4:08||Yao checks out of the game for Maurice Taylor. Yao is obviously winded and needs a breather. The Lakers lead 77-76.|
|3:29||Yao checks back into the game. The Rockets trail 78-76.|
|3:12||Yao gets the ball a couple of feet outside the left edge of the lane. Yao then takes one step to the edge of the lane, elevates, AND BANKS A SHOT OFF THE GLASS! The score is tied at 78-78. Yao is now 11-for-20 from the field, and he has 31 points!|
|1:55||Brian Grant pulls Yao down onto the court, and that's his sixth foul!|
|1:48||Yao passes up a pretty good shot in the lane and passed out to Jim Jackson behind the three-point line, who misses badly. Yao should have taken the much higher percentage shot! The score is still tied at 78-78.|
|1:17||Tyronn Lue tries to get an entry pass into Yao from the right wing, but the ball is deflected by Chucky Atkins, and Lue is called for fouling Atkins in frustration. That's a huge call!!! Not only do the Rockets not score (trailing 79-78), but the Lakers get to shoot two free throws, which they make. That puts the Lakers up 81-78.|
|:58||Yao misses a dunk, but the replay shows he was definitely fouled on the wrist by Chris Mihm and pushed him in the chest with the other! What in the world is happening here? That was huge! Yao is now 11-of-21 from the field, and the Rockets trail 81-78. That was a huge no-call!|
|Yao gets fouled, and he goes to the line and misses the first free throw! But he makes the second one, and the Rockets trail 81-79. He now has 32 points.|
Down by 3 points, the Rockets decide to shoot a three-pointer rather than work the percentages and go for a higher percentage shot and commit fouls with the hope the Lakers would miss a free throw down the stretch. So Charlie Ward gets the ball a couple of feet behind the three-point line, and misses. The rebound comes down to the Rockets, and the ball ultimately comes to Tyronn Lue who throws a low-percentage pass to Yao, and the ball sails over his head!! This sequence didn't make any sense because if they were going for a three-pointer, then why would they shoot a three-pointer, miss, and then try to get a two-pointer from Yao? Bad coaching, and bad decision-making by Lue.
|0:00||The Rockets go on to lose 84-79. Yao finishes with 32 points on 11-of-21 shooting, and 10-of-12 from the line.|