On this day: Hakeem Olajuwon torches Portland to give Rockets 2-0 lead

Hakeem Olajuwon Mandatory Credit: Eliot J. Schechter /Allsport
Hakeem Olajuwon Mandatory Credit: Eliot J. Schechter /Allsport /

After being held to 26 in Game 1, Hakeem Olajuwon exploded for 46 points to give the Houston Rockets a 2-0 lead over the Trail Blazers in the 1994 playoffs.

The Houston Rockets were firing on all cylinders when the 1994 NBA playoffs rolled around. Finishing at 58-24, only the Seattle SuperSonics had a better record going in, who ran into a matchup nightmare in the Denver Nuggets.

The seventh-seeded Portland Trail Blazers, led by Clyde Drexler, were Houston’s opponents in the first round. Vernon Maxwell shined in Game 1, making 5-of-8 from downtown on the way to scoring 24 points and dishing out seven assists in a 114-104 win.

Hakeem Olajuwon was “held” to 26 in that game, but restored order as Game 2 came around on this day 26 years ago. The Dream pulled out the entire arsenal, including making one of his two 3-point attempts, to finish with 46 points, eight rebounds, six blocks, four assists and four steals.

All-in-all, Hakeem shot 16-of-30 from the field and 13-of-18 from the free throw line. Maxwell again scored in double digits, pitching in 17 while Otis Thorpe contributed 19 points and 12 boards. Even more impressive from Mad Max was his defensive on Drexler in Game 2.

After scoring 26 on 11-for-20 from the field in Game 1, Clyde was held to just 13 on 4-of-15 shooting in Game 2.

Clifford Robinson and Rod Strickland paced the Blazers with 28 and 26 points, respectively, but the team simply had no answer for Hakeem. The Rockets ultimately prevailed 115-104 to take a 2-0 series lead.

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Houston needed two more games to close out the series in four, wrapping up the series with a 92-89 victory in Portland to advance to the next round.