While Horace Grant was an All-Star and four-time All-Defensive Team selection, Houston Rockets forward Robert Horry outplayed him in the 1995 NBA Finals.
Fresh off an NBA All-Star appearance with the Chicago Bulls in 1993-94, Horace Grant was a key piece of the Orlando Magic team that made it to the NBA Finals to face Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets the following season.
For his career up until that point, the 6-10 power forward was averaging 12.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game and had started in over 460 games for Chicago over the previous six seasons. His 15.1 points and 11 rebounds per game the season before making the Finals were both career-highs, so he was riding high going into his new environment with Orlando.
Little did Grant know that Robert Horry would not only play toe-to-toe with him but play better than him overall by the end of the quick series. To further break it down, let’s take a look at each game in the series.
The Orlando Magic, anchored by Shaquille O’Neal and Horace Grant down low, made their rebounding presence known right away in the series. The team as a whole pulled down 57 to Houston’s 41, with Grant and O’Neal each nabbing 16.
Still, the Rockets were able to come away with a 2-point victory behind high-scoring efforts from all five of their starters, including Robert Horry. Horry did a little bit of everything in Game 1 — scoring 19, pulling down eight boards, dishing out three assists and blocking five shots.
Horace Grant had a good game as well, scoring 15 to go along with his 16 boards. Both forwards were pretty even in the opening game, with maybe a slight edge going to Horry.
Next: Games 2 & 3