December 1, 2004
Fans Chant ‘Fire Gundy’ in Rockets Loss
The Houston Rockets were finishing up one of their worst performances of the season when a chant rang out from behind the bench. "Fire Gundy" the fans said in unison, prompting coach Jeff Van Gundy to turn and nod in their direction.
"I think it starts with me," Van Gundy said after a 93-72 loss Tuesday night to the Detroit Pistons. "I'm going to get a group that looks like they really want to play. I just haven't provided that this year, and for that, I'm very apologetic to our fans."
The Rockets lost their fourth game in a row overall and fifth straight at home, dropping to 6-10 in a season that hasn't gone nearly as smoothly as predicted after Houston acquired Tracy McGrady in the offseason.
McGrady was held to 16 points for the Rockets, who were booed off the court as the game ended.
In other games, Portland defeated Seattle 100-94, San Antonio topped Dallas 107-89, Phoenix beat Utah 115-102, New York edged Atlanta 110-109 in overtime, Sacramento defeated Memphis 98-93, the Los Angeles Lakers topped Milwaukee 95-90, Toronto edged Miami 94-92, and New Jersey beat Charlotte 99-86.
Antonio McDyess had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Richard Hamilton also scored 19 to help the Pistons snap a five-game road losing streak.
"That's the way we used to play," coach Larry Brown said. "That's probably our best game all year."
McDyess scored the Pistons' first 12 points in the opening 4 1/2 minutes, filling in admirably as All-Star center Ben Wallace completed a six-game suspension for his role in the Nov. 19 brawl with the Indiana Pacers. The Pistons went 3-3 without him, and they certainly didn't need him against the punchless Rockets.
Houston scored a season-low 72 points, committed 19 turnovers and attempted 16 fewer field goals.
"We're losing and it seems like it's the same type of effort every night," McGrady said. "It's got to change because right now it's pretty embarrassing."
Jim Jackson led Houston with 21 points and eight rebounds.
Trail Blazers 100, SuperSonics 94
At Portland, Zach Randolph had 19 points, including a key jumper with 17.2 seconds left, and Portland snapped the Sonics' four-game winning streak.
Shareef Abdur-Rahim led the Blazers with 25 points, and Darius Miles had 20. The Sonics, who have lost five straight visits to the Rose Garden, were led by Rashard Lewis with 29 points.
Spurs 107, Mavericks 89
At Dallas, Devin Brown sparked a fourth-quarter spurt with two three-point plays and two dunks, helping San Antonio spoil the pseudo-coaching debut of Avery Johnson.
Johnson, the hand-picked successor of Dallas coach Don Nelson, ran the game as if the job was already his. Nelson was there, too, but offered only suggestions. This was the first of about six such training sessions Nelson has planned.
Suns 115, Jazz 102
At Salt Lake City, Steve Nash had 20 points and 14 assists to lead the Suns to their eighth straight win.
Amare Stoudemire scored 29 points, Shawn Marion scored 21 and both pulled down nine rebounds for the Suns, who were too fast for Utah and outscored the Jazz 33-22 in the fourth quarter. Quentin Richardson scored 18 points, and Joe Johnson added 15 as all five Suns starters reached double figures.
Knicks 110, Hawks 109, OT
At Atlanta, Jamal Crawford's 3-pointer with 3.4 seconds left in overtime won it for New York.
Nazr Mohammed fouled Antoine Walker with 2 seconds left, but Walker - who scored a season-high 36 points - missed the first free throw. Following a timeout, Walker made the second free throw despite trying to intentionally miss the shot. The Knicks then inbounded and ran out the clock.
Kings 98, Grizzlies 93
At Memphis, Peja Stojakovic had 29 points, and Chris Webber added 22 points and 11 rebounds.
The loss was the Grizzlies' second straight at home and fourth straight overall, three of them coming since former coach Hubie Brown resigned unexpectedly.
Memphis pulled to 94-93 after an 8-0 run, but jumpers by Mike Bibby and Webber in the closing seconds assured the victory.
Lakers 95, Bucks 90
At Milwaukee, reserve Brian Cook scored a career-high 25 points, including five 3-pointers, and Kobe Bryant added 20 points despite being held without a field goal for the final three quarters.
Cook also had a career-high 11 rebounds, and Lamar Odom added 16 points and 11 rebounds as the Lakers beat the Bucks for the second time in seven days and the eighth straight time overall.
Raptors 94, Heat 92
At Miami, Jalen Rose scored 24 points, including the decisive free throws with 15.6 seconds left, to help Toronto snap a six-game road losing streak.
Shaquille O'Neal led Miami with a season-high 34 points, shooting 12-for-15 from the field and 10-of-13 from the foul line. He entered the game a 43-percent foul shooter.
Nets 99, Bobcats 86
At East Rutherford, N.J., Richard Jefferson scored 23 points and Eric Williams had a season-high 22 to help New Jersey end a nine-game losing streak.
Emeka Okafor led Charlotte with 26 points and 12 rebounds, the rookie's fifth consecutive double-double. Jason Hart added 15 for the Bobcats, who dropped to 0-6 on the road.