What a disaster that was.
The situation for those who missed it:
Tied game at 97-97, 23.5 sec left in the game. Kings ball. Shot clock at 23 sec. Kings have a foul to give, Houston does not. Lineup is Bibby/Martin/Salmons/Artest/Thomas. Artest (37 pts) handles the ball off the inbound, by plan. He dribbles for a while at the top of the key with Battier on him. He picks up his dribble - Bibby comes over the rescue, but hands the ball back. Five on the shot clock. Artest struggles with the dribble - Battier, Rafer Alston, and Tracy McGrady converge. McGrady gets the steal with 1.2 sec left, and misses the halfcourt shot. Kings don't get a shot off. Overtime.
Pretty bad, right?
Houston leads 107-104 with 32 seconds left in overtime. Kings ball. Same lineup on the floor. Bibby brings the ball upcourt. Bibby gives to Martin on left wing, McGrady's in his face. Martin drives to the foul line, loses the ball, but slaps it to Salmons on the right elbow. Play is now obviously broken. 17 seconds left, nine on the shot clock. Bibby runs behind Salmons, calling for the ball, but Salmons can't get it to him. Ball gets knocked out of Salmons' hands by Luther Head. Salmons corrals it temporarily, with Head still in his grill. Salmons then loses it off his leg out-of-bounds. Turnover. Rockets ball, and game. The Kings don't get a shot off.
For a team with all these supposed ballhandlers, you think you'd get a shot off in two attempts to tie and win the game. You'd think.
Incredible game for Artest, and a very good game from Kenny Thomas. Still, nothing is pretty about losses like these.