This Day In History (1.26.91): Vernon Maxwell scores 51 including 30 in the 4th quarter
After the Twin Towers days with Ralph and Akeem and before the Clutch City days, there were some serious issues going down in H-Town and much of the drama was with Hakeem, who management once accused of faking an injury that caused him to demand a trade. Thankfully for everybody involved, the nightmare ended and The Dream was reborn and two championships soon followed.
Another dream and nightmare that was a part of the first championship was Vernon “Mad Max” Maxwell. Max was a clutch player, a great 3-point shooter and an underrated defensive player. But like his records at the University of Florida, almost everything good he has done has been erased by memories of bad things from (accidentally) spitting on a girl in a crowd to getting suspended for 10 games for running into the crowd to a punch a fan.
On January 26th of 1991 against the Cleveland Cavs, Vernon Maxwell had one of those good moments that needs to be remembered. It was “one of the most impressive one-man shows ever” according to Coach Don Chaney. Mad Max scored 51 points and joined Calvin Murphy, Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes and Hakeem (who sat out this game) as the only Rockets to ever reach the 50-point mark. He also became the fifth player in NBA history to ever score 30 points in a quarter.
His final stat line was 14-of-25 from the field, 4-of-10 from the 3 point line and 19-of-22 from the free throw line.
Vernon would have short stints with the 76ers, Spurs, Kings, Sonics and Knicks after his championship season with the Rockets but he will forever remain known as a Rocket and unlike the people in Gainesville, the people in Houston do recognize what he’s done for their team.