Midway through the fourth quarter, the Rockets held a 5-point edge on the Suns...
... but down the stretch, it was all Phoenix as Rodney Rogers and company played tough late to beat the Rockets 108-101 in the Compaq Center.
The loss snaps a 3-game Rockets winning streak, setting their record back to 24-36.
Though Rogers (15 points) was tough late, several Suns did some damage.
We thought Tom Gugliotta was off the game-enhancing herbs, but apparently not. Googs went off for 23 points, 9 boards and 5 steals. Penny Hardaway nearly had a triple double with 24 points, 10 assists and 7 boards. Cliff Robinson added 19.
It rendered moot a career-high game for Steve Francis.
Franchise went off for 32 points (career high) on 13-21 from the field -- including 6-11 from Candy Land. He also handed out 8 assists, grabbed 4 boards and picked 4 steals (though he did commit 5 turnovers) in 44 minutes of PT.
The biggest bright spot to get from the game: Perhaps Steve is really snapping out of that week+ long slump.
His backcourt partners, Shandon Anderson and Cuttino Mobley, didn't play too shabby either.
Anderson was second in command with 20 points, draining 9-15 from the floor while Mobley (who is one of Rodney Rogers' biggest competitors for the "Sixth Man" Award) added 14 points.
Hakeem Olajuwon scored 12 points and added 8 boards (team high) in 23 minutes.
The Suns held a big edge at the free throw line, hitting 24-26 (over 92%). The Rockets were 9-13 (69%) and surprisingly Francis, despite taking 21 shots, never got to the line.
The Rockets also committed 18 turnovers to the Suns 11.