Eleven years after the Houston Rockets’ historic 22-game win streak back in the 2007-2008 season, a documentary about the team’s unlikely run will finally premier. In honor of documentary “Where Amazing Happened,” which you can catch on the team’s Facebook page Monday night at 7 p.m. central time, some of the writers at The Dream Shake would like to share their favorite memories from that unbelievable period.
Conrad Garcia (@ConradBuckets)
My favorite memory of this win streak is actually all teed up for me. Game No. 13 of the streak against the Washington Wizards was the first-ever live NBA game I went to. I went with my dad and his friends, and even thought it was one of the lesser-filled crowds, the energy was fun and electric.
Unfortunately, it was also the start of Yao Ming’s injury, so I didn’t get to see him play. I also remember being super upset that Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler wasn’t playing either. Damn, a 13-year-old me being sad that Arenas and Butler were out. Those were simpler times.
Anyways, the game was a straight up wooping, and it was something a much simpler Rockets fan would have loved to watch. Literally all the things I wanted to see in that game happened. For starters, Tracy McGrady DUNKED. I mean, threw down a hammer (also this article’s lead image).
Mutombo blocked a shot and did his finger wag. We kept yelling for Steve Novak to shoot the ball, and went crazy when he finally made a three. Then, for the first time ever and fresh off his dunk contest win, Gerald Green checked into the game, and he actually freaking dunked the ball.
We went berserk. After that, we really thought he’d be something very special for Houston. We were eventually right.
Never did I once think that that game would be bigger than just game no. 13 off a winning streak. I’m really glad to say that I was there for that moment.
Coty Davis (@Cotydavis_24)
What I loved most about this win streak was watching my favorite player, Tracy McGrady, play in a winning culture. McGrady never had a chance to lead the Rockets to a championship, nor out of the first round of the playoffs. However, leading the Rockets to 22-straight wins might have been McGrady’s greatest team accompaniment of his career.
My favorite moment of the streak came during the Rockets 106-96 victory over the New Orleans Hornets. Playing against the then second best team in the Western Conference, McGrady led the Rockets to their 18th straight victory with 41 points, nine assists, six rebounds, and two blocks in the win!
Darren Yuvan (@DarrenYuvan)
What a time this was, hard to believe it’s been over a decade now. I was living in New York City then, working at MTV and writing about basketball for Empty The Bench, and I watched every game that I could at an Upper East Side sports bar, laptop on one side, pint on the other. Ah, to be young again... but I digress.
Two things that I remember most about the streak was even though T-Mac often carried the Rockets from a scoring perspective, overall it was a total team effort. Big games from rookie Carl Landry (who was my favorite player that season), Rafer Alston, Luis Scola, and Luther Head all helped keep the win streak going. It may have been the greatest display of “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” I’ve ever witnessed in sports.
The second thing I remember is the play of Dikembe Mutombo. Deke was in his 17th and next-to-last NBA season, but when Yao went down, the 41-year-old (we think, there were rumors he was potentially even older) Mutombo turned back the hands of time and patrolled the paint like it was 1998 instead of 2008. In the 10 games of the streak after Yao went down, Mutombo blocked 21 shots, and the finger wag was firmly re-instituted into the collective NBA consciousness.
It was Mutombo’s ability to step in and provide a defensive shot-blocking presence (Houston’s other center was 6’6” Chuck Hayes, who we all love, but was certainly no shot blocker) that helped turn the streak from simply a really cool 12-game one into the historic 22-gamer we’re honoring today. It was one of my favorite times to be a Rockets fan since the title days in the ‘90s.
No one game stands out in the streak for me as much as the sense of an amazing collective effort. What I remember is watching games in that run and seeing the team simply will its way to wins. You might imagine that such a streak was full of easy wins, and it was. But not always. They edged the Kings by two, 89-87, which is a third quarter score these days.
The other thing that was amazing was to see a team so utterly locked in and committed. Once the streak was rolling you just couldn’t imagine them losing, and for 22 games, they didn’t. When a loss finally game, it was a big one, as the team just looked exhausted by the effort of maintaining the streak.
It’s unfortunate that the Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady Rockets never caught a break in the playoffs.
Jeremy Brener (@JeremyBrener)
I think my favorite moment might have been the last win against the Lakers.
So much buzz surrounded the Rockets as the streak was at 21, which was practically absurd at this point (it still is).
The Rockets were on national TV with a chance to move into first place in the West with a win.
21 games ago, the team sat in 10th place battling for a playoff spot. Now, the team was fighting for homecourt advantage throughout the entire playoffs.
The Lakers were no pushover either. After acquiring Pau Gasol in what was one of the biggest trades I remember as a kid, the Lakers were sooooo good. But the Rockets were here taking care of business against the big bad Lakers.
After that win, the Rockets were the best in the West and I was so proud of my team.
TDS readers, please feel free to leave your favorite moment in the comments!