Tuesday , Mar , 11 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Are the Houston Rockets Running Away to a Championship?

OK, this Rockets thing is getting ridiculous. Nineteen straight wins!? The last seven without Yao Ming? For a team that features Rafer Alston at point guard? C’mon. Are the Rockets for real?To quote Teri Hatcher’s character in Seinfeld: ‘They’re real … and they’re spectacular!’Quite simply, Houston has to be taken seriously now. The Rockets’ 19-game run matches the 1999-2000 Lakers for the third-longest in NBA history.

Houston hasn’t exactly been squeaking past foes either. The Rockets have won their last 10 by double digits, with the Hornets (twice), Mavs and Nuggets among those victims. With Houston’s next two games against the Hawks (Wednesday) and Bobcats (Friday), the streak could easily be at 21 heading into Sunday’s big home showdown with the Lakers. That would be the second-longest streak ever (behind only the Lakers’ immortal 33 of 1971-72, and ahead of the Bucks’ 20 in 1970-71). But even if it ends before then, the Rockets can gain confidence knowing that of the previous six teams that posted streaks of 18 or more, five went on to win the NBA title. Click here for more from Sports Illustrated.CNN.com.