2. Hakeem Olajuwon- April 26th, 1986
The 1985-86 season was a wildly successful one for the Rockets, as the Ralph Sampson/Hakeem Olajuwon pairing was unstoppable. Both players made it to the All-Star team and they carried the Rockets to a 51-31 record, which was the second-best in the Western Conference.
The Rockets drew a first round matchup against the Sacramento Kings, and flew right past them, which resulted in the Kings getting swept. The next round was much tougher for the Houston Rockets, as they faced off against the Denver Nuggets, who were the third-best team in the West, and had a 47-35 record.
Although the Nuggets pushed the Rockets to six games, they still weren’t able to stop the twin towers of Sampson and Olajuwon. Olajuwon got right to work in Game 1, which just so happened to fall on April 26th.
In that game, The Dream had 38 points, which was a game-high, and a sign of things to come for the Nuggets. Olaujwon went 18-of-27 (66.7 percent), had a true shooting percentage of 66.1 percent, and an effective field goal percentage of 66.7 percent.
Not only was The Dream efficient on the offensive end, he also dominated the boards, as he had 16 rebounds, which was also a game-high. Olajuwon was also a force on defense, as he had six steals and five blocks, while also pouring in four assists.
In spite of Olajuwon’s excellence, the Rockets narrowly escaped with a 126-119 victory, so it’s safe to say they wouldn’t have had a chance without The Dream.
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