Monday , Jan , 24 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Houston Rockets Team Report – January 24

=== Houston Rockets Team Report – January 24 ===

(Sports Network) – Houston tries to win its third straight game Monday, as
it hosts former Rocket Steve Francis and the Orlando Magic at the Toyota
Center.

It will be Francis’ first game at Houston since being traded by the Rockets
traded him on June 29, 2004. The Magic acquired Francis and Cuttino Mobley,
who has since been dealt to the Sacramento Kings, and center Kelvin Cato from
the Rockets in exchange for Tracy McGrady, Tyronn Lue, who is now a member of
the Atlanta Hawks, Reece Gaines, and forward Juwan Howard.

Monday’s contest is the second and final meeting of the season between the
clubs. On January 20th, Houston defeated the Magic, 108-99, at TD Waterhouse
Centre. Overall, Houston has won five straight in this series, while Orlando
has won 14 of the last 20 contests. The Magic have lost two straight and three
of their last four at Houston.

Scott Padgett’s basket at the buzzer lifted the Rockets over the New York
Knicks, 92-91, on Friday at Madison Square Garden. McGrady, who set up the
winning hoop, scored a game-high 35 for Houston, which has won six of its last
eight overall.

Yao Ming finished with 22 points and 12 boards in Friday’s win, as the Rockets
have captured five of their last seven on the road.

McGrady has scored 20 or more points in five straight and 19 of his last 20
contests. He has netted more than 30 points in six of those contests. The
four-time All-Star is averaging 28.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists in
his last 10 games.

Yao has scored 20 or more points in three straight games. He is averaging 17
points and 7.7 rebounds in his last 10 contests.

The Rockets are 13-9 as the host this season. Houston is 2-2 in its last four
contests at the Toyota Center.

Houston is scheduled to visit the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday before
returning home to host the Sacramento Kings on Friday. After Friday’s contest,
the Rockets embark on a four-game road trip that starts on Sunday at Miami
against Shaquille O’Neal and the Miami Heat. Houston will also visit the
Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves on the road
swing.

HOU