1996–97 Houston Rockets season

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1996–97 Houston Rockets season
Charles Barkley's first season with the Rockets
Head coach Rudy Tomjanovich
Arena The Summit
Results
Record 57–25 (.695)
Place Division: 2nd (Midwest)
Conference: 3rd (Western)
Playoff finish

West Conference Finals
(eliminated by Jazz 2-4)


Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
Television Prime Sports Southwest/Fox Sports Southwest, KTXH
< 1995–96 1997–98 >

The 1996–97 NBA season was the Rockets' 30th season in the National Basketball Association, and 26th season in Houston.[1] During the offseason, the Rockets acquired All-Star forward Charles Barkley from the Phoenix Suns,[2] while signing free agents Kevin Willis and Brent Price. The Rockets blasted off to a 21–2 start, but later on struggled posting a six-game losing streak between January and February. Their players would once again struggle with injuries as Barkley appeared in just 53 games. At midseason, the Rockets signed free agents Eddie Johnson and Sedale Threatt as they finished second in the Midwest Division with a 57–25 record. Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and head coach Rudy Tomjanovich represented the Western Conference in the 1997 NBA All-Star Game. However, Barkley and Drexler did not play due to injuries.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Rockets swept the Minnesota Timberwolves in three straight games. In the semifinals, they jumped out to a 3–1 series lead over the Seattle SuperSonics. However, the Sonics would win the next two games to even the series at three games a piece. The Rockets would win Game 7 and advanced to the Western Conference Finals, only to lose in six games to the Utah Jazz. Following the season, Threatt retired and Sam Mack was traded to the Vancouver Grizzlies.

After the departures of Barkley, Olajuwon and Drexler, the Rockets did not reach the Conference Finals again until 2015.

Offseason[edit]

During the 1996 offseason, Charles Barkley was traded from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Sam Cassell, Robert Horry, Mark Bryant, and Chucky Brown. Barkley chose Houston specifically because he hoped to win an NBA Championship with the team.

Draft picks[edit]

Round Pick Player Position Nationality College
2 30 Othella Harrington PF/C  United States Georgetown
2 42 Randy Livingston SG/PG  United States LSU
2 50 Terrell Bell C  United States Georgia

Roster[edit]

Houston Rockets roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) From
PF 4 United States Barkley, Charles 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 252 lb (114 kg) Auburn
PF 50 United States Bullard, Matt 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 215 lb (98 kg) Iowa
PG 15 United States Davis, Emanual 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 195 lb (88 kg) Delaware State
SG 22 United States Drexler, Clyde 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Houston
SF 17 United States Elie, Mario 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 210 lb (95 kg) American International
PF 32 United States Harrington, Othella 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 235 lb (107 kg) Georgetown
SF 8 United States Johnson, Eddie 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 215 lb (98 kg) Illinois
PF 27 United States Jones, Charles 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 215 lb (98 kg) Albany State
PG 3 United States Livingston, Randy 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 209 lb (95 kg) LSU
SF 5 United States Mack, Sam 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Houston
PG 12 United States Maloney, Matt 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 192 lb (87 kg) Pennsylvania
C 34 United States Olajuwon, Hakeem 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 255 lb (116 kg) Houston
PG 20 United States Price, Brent 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 165 lb (75 kg) Oklahoma
PG 2 United States Threatt, Sedale 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 175 lb (79 kg) West Virginia Tech
PF 42 United States Willis, Kevin 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Michigan State
Head coach

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Roster

Regular season[edit]

In his first game with the Houston Rockets, Charles Barkley would get thirty three rebounds, a career high.[3]

Season standings[edit]

# Western Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 c-Utah Jazz 64 18 .780
2 y-Seattle SuperSonics 57 25 .695 7
3 x-Houston Rockets 57 25 .695 7
4 x-Los Angeles Lakers 56 26 .683 8
5 x-Portland Trail Blazers 49 33 .598 15
6 x-Minnesota Timberwolves 40 42 .488 24
7 x-Phoenix Suns 40 42 .488 24
8 x-Los Angeles Clippers 36 46 .439 28
9 Sacramento Kings 34 48 .415 30
10 Golden State Warriors 30 52 .366 34
11 Dallas Mavericks 24 58 .293 40
12 Denver Nuggets 21 61 .256 43
13 San Antonio Spurs 20 62 .244 44
14 Vancouver Grizzlies 14 68 .171 50
c – clinched conference title
y – clinched division title
x – clinched playoff spot

Record vs. opponents[edit]

1996-97 NBA Records
Team ATL BOS CHA CHI CLE DAL DEN DET GSW HOU IND LAC LAL MIA MIL MIN NJN NYK ORL PHI PHO POR SAC SAS SEA TOR UTA VAN WAS
Atlanta 3–1 1–3 1–3 3–1 2–0 1–1 1–3 2–0 1–1 3–1 2–0 1–1 1–2 4–0 2–0 3–1 1–3 3–1 4–0 1–1 2–0 2–0 2–0 1–1 4–0 1–1 2–0 2–1
Boston 1–3 0–4 0–4 1–2 1–1 1–1 0–4 1–1 0–2 1–2 0–2 1–1 0–4 1–3 0–2 0–4 0–4 0–4 1–3 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 0–2 3–1 0–2 0–2 0–4
Charlotte 3–1 4–0 0–4 3–1 1–1 2–0 2–2 2–0 2–0 2–2 1–1 1–1 1–2 2–2 2–0 4–0 3–1 1–2 4–0 1–1 0–2 2–0 2–0 2–0 2–2 0–2 2–0 3–1
Chicago 3–1 4–0 4–0 3–1 2–0 2–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 4–0 2–0 1–1 2–2 4–0 2–0 3–1 2–2 3–0 4–0 2–0 2–0 2–0 2–0 2–0 3–1 1–1 2–0 2–1
Cleveland 1–3 2–1 1–3 1–3 2–0 1–1 2–2 1–1 0–2 3–1 2–0 1–1 0–4 2–2 2–0 4–0 1–3 2–2 3–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 0–2 0–2 3–1 1–1 2–0 1–3
Dallas 0–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 3–1 0–2 0–4 0–4 1–1 2–2 0–4 0–2 0–2 1–3 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–3 1–3 2–2 1–3 1–3 0–2 1–3 3–1 0–2
Denver 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 1–3 0–2 1–3 1–3 0–2 1–3 0–4 0–2 1–1 0–4 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 2–2 0–4 2–2 2–2 0–4 1–1 0–4 3–1 1–1
Detroit 3–1 4–0 2–2 1–3 2–2 2–0 2–0 2–0 1–1 3–1 2–0 1–1 0–4 3–1 2–0 4–0 1–2 2–2 2–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 3–1 1–1 2–0 4–0
Golden State 0–2 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 4–0 3–1 0–2 0–4 1–1 1–3 0–4 0–2 1–1 1–3 2–0 0–2 1–1 2–0 0–4 2–2 1–3 4–0 0–4 2–0 0–4 3–1 0–2
Houston 1–1 2–0 0–2 1–1 2–0 4–0 3–1 1–1 4–0 1–1 3–1 3–1 0–2 1–1 4–0 2–0 1–1 0–2 2–0 2–2 2–2 4–0 3–1 3–1 1–1 2–2 3–1 2–0
Indiana 1–3 2–1 2–2 0–4 1–3 1–1 2–0 1–3 1–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–3 2–2 2–0 2–2 1–3 1–3 3–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 4–0 0–2 2–0 1–3
L.A. Clippers 0–2 2–0 1–1 0–2 0–2 2–2 3–1 0–2 3–1 1–3 0–2 2–2 0–2 2–0 1–3 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 2–2 0–4 2–2 4–0 1–3 2–0 1–3 4–0 0–2
L.A. Lakers 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 4–0 4–0 1–1 4–0 1–3 1–1 2–2 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 4–0 1–3 4–0 2–2 3–1 1–1 1–3 4–0 2–0
Miami 2–1 4–0 2–1 2–2 4–0 2–0 2–0 4–0 2–0 2–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 4–0 1–1 3–1 1–3 2–2 3–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 2–0 0–2 3–1 0–2 2–0 3–1
Milwaukee 0–4 3–1 2–2 0–4 2–2 2–0 1–1 1–3 1–1 1–1 2–2 0–2 0–2 0–4 0–2 2–1 1–2 2–2 3–1 1–1 0–2 0–2 1–1 1–1 3–1 1–1 2–0 1–3
Minnesota 0–2 2–0 0–2 0–2 0–2 3–1 4–0 0–2 3–1 0–4 0–2 3–1 1–3 1–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 3–1 2–2 0–4 4–0 0–4 1–1 1–3 4–0 1–1
New Jersey 1–3 4–0 0–4 1–3 0–4 1–1 1–1 0–4 0–2 0–2 2–2 1–1 0–2 1–3 1–2 0–2 2–2 1–3 2–2 1–1 0–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 0–3 0–2 2–0 1–3
New York 3–1 4–0 1–3 2–2 3–1 1–1 2–0 2–1 2–0 1–1 3–1 2–0 1–1 3–1 2–1 1–1 2–2 3–1 3–2 1–1 1–1 2–0 2–0 0–2 3–0 1–1 2–0 4–0
Orlando 1–3 4–0 2–1 0–3 2–2 1–1 2–0 2–2 1–1 2–0 3–1 1–1 1–1 2–2 2–2 1–1 3–1 1–3 2–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 4–0 0–2 1–1 1–3
Philadelphia 0–4 3–1 0–4 0–4 0–3 0–2 1–1 1–2 0–2 0–2 0–3 1–1 0–2 1–3 1–3 1–1 2–2 2–3 2–2 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 0–2 1–3 0–2 2–0 1–3
Phoenix 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 3–1 2–2 2–0 4–0 2–2 1–1 2–2 0–4 0–2 1–1 1–3 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 1–3 4–0 3–1 2–2 0–2 1–3 2–2 1–1
Portland 0–2 1–1 2–0 0–2 1–1 3–1 4–0 1–1 2–2 2–2 1–1 4–0 3–1 1–1 2–0 2–2 2–0 1–1 0–2 1–1 3–1 2–2 4–0 1–3 0–2 2–2 4–0 0–2
Sacramento 0–2 2–0 0–2 0–2 0–2 2–2 2–2 1–1 3–1 0–4 1–1 2–2 0–4 0–2 2–0 4–0 1–1 0–2 1–1 2–0 0–4 2–2 3–1 1–3 1–1 0–4 4–0 0–2
San Antonio 0–2 1–1 0–2 0–2 2–0 3–1 2–2 0–2 0–4 1–3 1–1 0–4 2–2 0–2 1–1 0–4 0–2 0–2 1–1 1–1 1–3 0–4 1–3 0–4 1–1 1–3 1–3 0–2
Seattle 1–1 2–0 0–2 0–2 2–0 3–1 4–0 1–1 4–0 1–3 1–1 3–1 1–3 2–0 1–1 4–0 1–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 2–2 3–1 3–1 4–0 2–0 1–3 4–0 2–0
Toronto 0–4 1–3 2–2 1–3 1–3 2–0 1–1 1–3 0–2 1–1 0–4 0–2 1–1 1–3 1–3 1–1 3–0 0–3 0–4 3–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–1 2–2
Utah 1–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–1 3–1 4–0 1–1 4–0 2–2 2–0 3–1 3–1 2–0 1–1 3–1 2–0 1–1 2–0 2–0 3–1 2–2 4–0 3–1 3–1 1–1 4–0 2–0
Vancouver 0–2 2–0 0–2 0–2 0–2 1–3 1–3 0–2 1–3 1–3 0–2 0–4 0–4 0–2 0–2 0–4 0–2 0–2 1–1 0–2 2–2 0–4 0–4 3–1 0–4 1–1 0–4 1–1
Washington 1–2 4–0 1–3 1–2 3–1 2–0 1–1 0–4 2–0 0–2 3–1 2–0 0–2 1–3 3–1 1–1 3–1 0–4 3–1 3–1 1–1 2–0 2–0 2–0 0–2 2–2 0–2 1–1

Game log[edit]

Game Date Opponent Result Team points Opponent score Record Streak OT
1 November 1 vs Sacramento Win 96 85 1-0 Won 1
2 November 2 at Phoenix Win 110 95 2-0 Won 2
3 November 4 at Utah Win 75 72 3-0 Won 3
4 November 5 at Sacramento Win 102 80 4-0 Won 4
5 November 7 at Denver Win 110 108 5-0 Won 5 OT
6 November 9 vs Utah Win 91 85 6-0 Won 6
7 November 12 vs LA Lakers Loss 115 126 6-1 Lost 1 2OT
8 November 14 vs Indiana Win 90 88 7-1 Won 1
9 November 16 vs Golden State Win 115 103 8-1 Won 2
10 November 19 vs Minnesota Win 122 93 9-1 Won 3
11 November 21 vs Phoenix Win 115 105 10-1 Won 4
12 November 23 at Golden State Win 120 115 11-1 Won 5 OT
13 November 24 at LA Lakers Win 90 85 12-1 Won 6
14 November 26 vs Portland Win 102 101 13-1 Won 7 OT
15 November 29 at Boston Win 120 94 14-1 Won 8
16 November 30 at Washington Win 103 99 15-1 Won 9
17 December 2 at Toronto Loss 89 100 15-2 Lost 1
18 December 4 vs Boston Win 94 89 16-2 Won 1
19 December 7 vs Philadelphia Win 123 108 17-2 Won 2
20 December 10 at Minnesota Win 96 94 18-2 Won 3
21 December 12 vs Detroit Win 115 96 19-2 Won 4
22 December 14 at Seattle Win 109 100 20-2 Won 5
23 December 15 at Portland Win 99 89 21-2 Won 6
24 December 17 at Vancouver Loss 92 93 21-3 Lost 1
25 December 19 vs San Antonio Loss 101 115 21-4 Lost 2
26 December 21 vs Miami Loss 66 86 21-5 Lost 3
27 December 23 vs Milwaukee Loss 76 81 21-6 Lost 4
28 December 26 at Milwaukee Win 101 90 22-6 Won 1
29 December 28 vs Golden State Win 104 95 23-6 Won 2
30 December 30 vs Seattle Win 99 91 24-6 Won 3
31 January 2 vs Portland Loss 96 112 24-7 Lost 1
32 January 4 vs LA Clippers Loss 91 95 24-8 Lost 2
33 January 7 at Minnesota Win 104 95 25-8 Won 1
34 January 8 at Cleveland Win 81 78 26-8 Won 2
35 January 10 at Philadelphia Win 120 99 27-8 Won 3
36 January 11 at Chicago Loss 86 110 27-9 Lost 1
37 January 14 vs New York Win 106 86 28-9 Won 1
38 January 16 vs Sacramento Win 89 80 29-9 Won 2
39 January 17 at Dallas Win 88 78 30-9 Won 3
40 January 19 vs Chicago Win 102 86 31-9 Won 4
41 January 21 at Charlotte Loss 108 114 31-10 Lost 1
42 January 23 vs New Jersey Win 111 104 32-10 Won 1
43 January 25 vs Utah Loss 100 105 32-11 Lost 1 OT
44 January 30 vs Denver Loss 109 113 32-12 Lost 2
45 January 31 at Indiana Loss 74 100 32-13 Lost 3
46 February 2 at Orlando Loss 90 103 32-14 Lost 4
47 February 4 at New York Loss 95 99 32-15 Lost 5
48 February 6 at Detroit Loss 87 96 32-16 Lost 6
49 February 11 vs Vancouver Win 106 97 33-16 Won 1
50 February 14 at Seattle Loss 85 105 33-17 Lost 1
51 February 15 at Portland Loss 105 109 33-18 Lost 2
52 February 17 vs Atlanta Win 127 98 34-18 Won 1
53 February 20 vs Toronto Win 107 97 35-18 Won 2
54 February 21 at Atlanta Loss 74 76 35-19 Lost 1
55 February 23 vs San Antonio Win 95 85 36-19 Won 1
56 February 25 vs LA Lakers Win 100 96 37-19 Won 2
57 February 27 vs Charlotte Loss 95 106 37-20 Lost 1
58 March 1 vs Dallas Win 89 80 38-20 Won 1
59 March 4 at LA Clippers Win 113 109 39-20 Won 2
60 March 5 at Golden State Win 90 85 40-20 Won 3
61 March 7 at LA Lakers Win 111 90 41-20 Won 4
62 March 9 at Dallas Win 88 83 42-20 Won 5
63 March 11 at San Antonio Win 103 79 43-20 Won 6
64 March 12 vs Orlando Loss 95 96 43-21 Lost 1
65 March 16 at Miami Loss 80 101 43-22 Lost 2
66 March 18 at New Jersey Win 97 89 44-22 Won 1
67 March 20 vs Washington Win 96 90 45-22 Won 2
68 March 22 vs Phoenix Loss 99 104 45-23 Lost 1
69 March 25 vs Minnesota Win 112 103 46-23 Won 1
70 March 27 vs Cleveland Win 107 89 47-23 Won 2
71 March 29 vs Denver Win 120 105 48-23 Won 3
72 April 1 at Denver Win 116 99 49-23 Won 4
73 April 2 at Phoenix Loss 96 109 49-24 Lost 1
74 April 4 at Sacramento Win 108 94 50-24 Won 1
75 April 6 at Vancouver Win 94 85 51-24 Won 2
76 April 8 at LA Clippers Win 127 117 52-24 Won 3
77 April 10 vs Vancouver Win 102 94 53-24 Won 4
78 April 11 at Utah Loss 83 104 53-25 Lost 1
79 April 13 vs Seattle Win 113 73 54-25 Won 1
80 April 15 vs LA Clippers Win 123 119 55-25 Won 2
81 April 18 vs Dallas Win 112 102 56-25 Won 3 OT
82 April 20 at San Antonio Win 103 99 57-25 Won 4

Playoffs[edit]

West First Round[edit]

(3) Houston Rockets vs. (6) Minnesota Timberwolves Last Playoff Meeting: Not available (first playoff series)

Game Date Visitor Score Home Score Record

(HOU-MIN)

Venue Recap Television
1 April 24 Houston 112 Minnesota 95 1-0 The Summit, Houston, Texas 1
2 April 26 Houston 96 Minnesota 84 2-0 The Summit, Houston, Texas 2 NBC
3 April 29 Minnesota 120 Houston 125 3-0 Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota 3
Houston wins series 3–0

West Conference Semifinals[edit]

(2) Seattle SuperSonics vs. (3) Houston Rockets Last Playoff Meeting: 1996 Western Conference Semifinals (Seattle won 4-0)

Game Date Home Score Visitor Score Record

(HOU-SEA)

Venue Recap Television
1 May 5 Houston 112 Seattle 102 1-0 The Summit, Houston, Texas 1
2 May 7 Houston 101 Seattle 106 1-1 The Summit, Houston, Texas 2
3 May 9 Seattle 93 Houston 97 2-1 KeyArena, Seattle 3
4 May 11 Seattle 106 Houston 110 3-1 KeyArena, Seattle, Washington 4 NBC
5 May 13 Houston 94 Seattle 100 3-2 The Summit, Houston, Texas 5
6 May 15 Seattle 99 Houston 96 3-3 KeyArena, Seattle, Washington 6 TNT
7 May 17 Houston 96 Seattle 91 4-3 The Summit, Houston, Texas 7 NBC
Houston wins series 4–3

West Conference Finals[edit]

(1) Utah Jazz vs. (3) Houston Rockets Last Playoff Meeting: 1995 Western Conference First Round (Houston won 3-2)

Game Date Home Score Visitor Score Record

(UTAH-HOU)

Venue Recap Television
1 May 19 Utah 101 Houston 86 1-0 Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 1 NBC
2 May 21 Utah 104 Houston 92 2-0 Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 2 NBC
3 May 23 Houston 118 Utah 100 2-1 The Summit, Houston, Texas 3 NBC
4 May 25 Houston 95 Utah 92 2-2 The Summit, Houston, Texas 4 NBC
5 May 27 Utah 96 Houston 91 3-2 Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah 5 NBC
6 May 29 Houston 100 Utah 103 4-2 The Summit, Houston, Texas 6 NBC
Utah wins series 4–2

Player statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game

Season[edit]

Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG

Playoffs[edit]

Player GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG

Awards and records[edit]

Awards[edit]

Records[edit]

Transactions[edit]

Trades[edit]

Free agents[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1996-97 Houston Rockets
  2. ^ "Barkley Confirms His Trade To Rockets". New York Times. August 19, 1996. Retrieved February 28, 2017. 
  3. ^ Numbelivable!, p.101, Michael X. Ferraro and John Veneziano, Triumph Books, Chicago, Illinois, 2007, ISBN 978-1-57243-990-0