Mario Elie reveals 3 toughest opponents the Rockets faced from 1993-95

Houston Rockets Mario Elie (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Mario Elie (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Charles Barkley (Photo credit should read PAUL GERO/AFP via Getty Images) /

1. Phoenix Suns

Elie elaborated to Hollins after a follow-up: “Barkley’s post up and KJ’s pick and roll and iso game put a lot of pressure on our defense.”

In their first bid for an NBA title, Elie and the Rockets had to get through a dogfight against Kevin Johnson, Charles Barkley and the rest of the Suns just to get to the third round to face the Utah Jazz.

It took a 37-point, 17-rebound performance from Olajuwon in the deciding Game 7 to create enough separation from the Suns to advance to the Western Conference Finals against Utah.

The following season, the Suns were lying in wait for the Rockets in the second round once again, this time pushing the Rockets to their absolute brink even more than in 1994. In fact, if it wasn’t for this classic moment from Mario Elie, Houston could very well have come out of the 1990s with just one title.

Elie’s big shot will forever be remembered as one of the most clutch moments in NBA history and is definitely one of the most re-watchable clips for every Rockets fan.

Next: Utah Jazz