Simulating a playoff series between the ’94 and ’95 Houston Rockets

Houston Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon (Credit: Tim Defrisco/ALLSPORT}
Houston Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon (Credit: Tim Defrisco/ALLSPORT} /
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Houston Rockets
Hakeem Olajuwon Shaquille O’Neal (Photo by Allsport/Getty Images) /

Game 1: 1995 Houston Rockets 110, 1994 Houston Rockets 94

In the first matchup of the two legendary Rockets teams, the duo of Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler from the second title team was too much for the first. Both were remarkably efficient from the field, with The Dream posting 29 points on 11-of-21 while The Glide posted 26 on 11-of-22.

With the ’95 Rockets ahead by just four at halftime (53-49), they caught fire in the third, scoring 28 and ending the quarter with a pair of triples from Mario Elie and Kenny Smith. The onslaught continued in the final frame, with Sam Cassell and Clyde Drexler also burying threes to start the quarter.

In the end, the 1995 Rockets took a 1-0 series lead with a 110-94 victory.

Game 2: 1995 Houston Rockets 104, 1994 Houston Rockets 91

In Game 2 of the series, the 1994 Houston Rockets came out hot, establishing a 26-18 lead on the backs of strong quarters from Hakeem Olajuwon and Kenny Smith. A strong second quarter from Clyde Drexler, however, would pull the ’95 Rockets back to within five points at the half.

Both versions of Olajuwon caught fire in the third, sending the game to its final quarter with a two-point edge in favor of the ’94 Rockets. Once again, it was the 3-point shooting of the ’95 team that helped them pull away, this time with a 35-point final-quarter outburst.

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Up 78-77 with 7:47 remaining, Drexler and Elie both buried 3-pointers, which opened the floor for drives from Cassell and Smith to further stretch the lead out.

Despite 32 from Hakeem and 22 from Smith, the 1994 Rockets fell short again, 104-91. The ’95 Rockets were led by Olajuwon, with 31 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks. Drexler contributed 21 points while Elie again had a strong showing with 17.

Next: Games 3 & 4