Purvis Short helped the Houaston Rockets put their off-court p
MICHAEL A. LUTZ
Mar. 25, 1988
HOUSTON (AP) _ Purvis Short helped the Houaston Rockets put their off-court problems behind them Thursday night with 33 points, leading the Rockets to a 134-117 NBA victory over the New York Knicks.
Prior to the game, center Akeem Olajuwon criticized Coach Bill Fitch's coaching tactics and accused guard Sleepy Floyd of not fulfilling his duties as a playmaker.
Short's 33 points tied his season high and Houston socred a season-high as a team.
The game met with Olajuwon's approval.
''That's what I was talking about before,'' Olajuwon said. ''We came out and played tonight as a team. We were running and that was the difference.''
Floyd scored 10 points and had 10 assists. He said Olajuwon's comments didn't affect his game.
''I'm happy to be a part of this team, I don't consider this to be major, what has happened,'' Floyd said.
Olajuwon scored 26 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.
''We knew we couldn't let up,'' Short said. ''We had to keep going in the second half because the Knicks keep coming at you.''
The Rockets jumped to a 12-2 lead in the first quarter and never trailed.
''Of all the games we've played this year, Houston was the best prepared for our press,'' New York Coach Rick Pitino said. ''That's the best bench coaching I've come up against all year.''
Gerald Wilkins led the Knicks with 20 points.
The Rockets took a 70-55 halftime lead after overcoming the Knicks' pressing tactics in the second quarter.
Short came off the bench to score 14 points in the fast-paced first half. He went to the bench late in the game after hitting four straight baskets.
Houston scored the first six points of the game. Its biggest first-half lead was 68-48 with 1:45 to go.