On March 23rd of 2000, the Houston Rockets were hosting the LA Clippers in a regular season game, as every single Houston Rocket fan watching their local team play the young Clippers had a great time as they watched a rookie Steve Francis destroy the Clippers.
The eventual Rookie of the Year poured in a then career-high 34 points on 13-of-19 shooting (perfect three-for-three from three) to go with a career-high 14 assists, 9 boards and 3 steals. But What makes this performance worthy of a throwback almost two decades later is how he played around with the defense, especially at a particular sequence with Troy Hudson.
He started to size him up with a few between the legs dribbles to make him wobble and went into a behind the back, making Hudson think he was going to drive the lane, but he pulled back, as Hudson almost went flying. He managed to stay on his feet.
Francis sensed he got him and started over and got him another time, but this time with a simple switch of the hands, as he immediately got in a pull-up motion, but he faked him out once again as Hudson jumped for it. Francis easily went past him and drilled a casual floater, the Rockets fans went crazy.
Although Francis had all of the tools to be a top scorer in the league, he was always willing to share the ball and rarely scored in the mid to high 30s; his first 40-point game wasn’t until three seasons later, when he dropped 44 and 11 in a win over the Shaq and Kobe dynasty Lakers.