Hakeem Olajuwon wasn't around at the finish, but rookie sharpshooters Michael Dickerson and Cuttino Mobley made sure he wasn't missed.
Dickerson and Mobley picked up the slack after Olajuwon was ejected, combining for 14 of Houston's club-record 17 3-pointers as the Rockets beat the Toronto Raptors 113-104 Thursday night.
Both players set career scoring highs - Dickerson with 28 points and Mobley with 26 - and each was 7-for-9 from long range. The Rockets, who won their sixth straight, finished 17-for-30 on 3-pointers.
"They shot the lights out," said Toronto guard Doug Christie. "You have to double them down low and when they hit their 3s, there is not much you can do. Dickerson and Mobley were hitting unconsciously and it was just impossible for us to win."
Dickerson missed his first few shots, then found the range.
"When I started off I missed a three and I missed a layup and I thought, `Oh no, it's going to be one of those long nights again,"' he said. "But my teammates picked me up and kept getting me the ball."
The Raptors, who had won six of their last seven games, were led by Vince Carter's career-high 32 points.
Charles Barkley had 16 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists for the Rockets, while Scottie Pippen added 16 points and 11 assists.
Olajuwon was ejected with 2:55 left in the third quarter after a flagrant foul on Charles Oakley. Olajuwon said he got a sharp elbow in the chest from Oakley while going for a rebound and reacted after the play.
"When any player is trying to hurt you, you have to defend yourself," Olajuwon said. "I can see if it was an accident but this was no accident. It was very bad. It was very evil."
Oakley denied any wrongdoing.
"I didn't try to hurt him," Oakley said. "It just happened in the flow of the game. I'm not going to back down just because he's complaining."
The Rockets broke thir franchise record of 16 3-pointers in a game, accomplished three times.
"For the first time this year we were confused on the double team," Toronto coach Butch Carter said. "We should have gone over the rotations."
The game was tied 63-63 in the third quarter before the Rockets broke it open with an 18-2 run that featured four 3-pointers by Dickerson.
- The Rockets are 11-0 against Canadian teams at home (7-0 vs. Vancouver and 4-0 vs. Toronto)
- Toronto is 8-6 in March and needs one more victory to guarantee its first winning record for a month in club history
- Rockets guard Sam Mack sat out the game with a sprained thumb.
- The seven 3-point baskets by Mobley and Dickerson set a Rockets rookie record
- The Rockets' all-time record is 1,285-1,285, the first time they've been at .500 in franchise history.
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