#1) May 20, 1995: Mario Elie‘s “Kiss of Death” Knell Shot
There’s absolutely no reason why this shot shouldn’t be No. 1 on anybody’s list.
It was the greatest shot in Rockets history and will continue to be for a long time.
It embodied hustle, sweat, strain all culminating together into one moment.
And for Mario Elie, it DEFINED his career.
He only had eight points that day in that 115-114 win and that was the only three-pointer he made the whole game.
But you know what?
It doesn’t matter — we don’t care and won’t remember that — he came through when we need him the most.
For guy who made his living sinking the three-ball with his calm, cool and collective set-shot style this was just one of those moments where when the game’s on the line he’ll come through for his teammates.
It was a heck of roller coaster of a season for the Rockets as they slightly underachieved finishing 47-35 and the No. 6 seed of the 1995 playoffs.
But whatever they were lacking in the regular season they made up plenty for in the postseason as the Rockets exceeded everybody’s expectations and stomped on any experts projections of how they’d perform in the playoffs.
They continued to play with their backs against the wall he whole way responding brilliantly whenever it was warranted.
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This shot was in the semifinals of the 1995 playoffs allowing the Rockets to win the series 4-3 to take on the San Antonio Spurs and then eventually sweeping the Magic in the NBA Finals.
As I reflect back on that 1995 season, we probably weren’t supposed to be where we were but I’m proud that we showed the world that we deserved to be there and win the chip BACK-TO-BACK!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane through Rockets history — I’m sure there are many moments you’d like to add but I feel these are the most pertinent.
With this new era ushered in by Harden and Howard — a new chapter of franchise history is being written and I’m sure there will be moments that are worthy of being mentioned amongst these.
Until then, go Rockets!