Wednesday , Mar , 23 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Houston Rockets Team Report – March 23

=== Houston Rockets Team Report – March 23 ===

(Sports Network) – All-Star Tracy McGrady scored 26 points and Dikembe
Mutombo pulled down 15 rebounds to lead the Houston Rockets to an 84-82
victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday at the Toyota Center.

David Wesley contributed 14 points in Tuesday’s victory for the Rockets, who
have won seven of their last nine games overall.

Houston trailed by five at halftime, but used a big third quarter and took a
61-55 lead into the final frame. The Rockets outscored Miami 25-14 in the
frame.

The Rockets were ahead 71-62 after a free throw by McGrady midway through the
final quarter. McGrady buried a three with 5 1/2 minutes left to increase the
lead to 74-62 and Houston appeared to be in control. Miami, though, would
score 13 of game’s next 19 points and still had life when Houston’s Mike James
missed two free throws with 16 seconds to go. The Heat’s Damon Jones buried a
three-pointer and was fouled on the shot. Jones completed the four-point play
to cut the Rockets’ lead to 80-79 with 14.3 seconds remaining.

With 13.2 seconds left, Wesley made a pair of free throws to give Houston an
82-79 edge and the Rockets fouled Dwyane Wade with 9.2 seconds left on the
clock. Wade’s first attempt missed, but the second was good to cut the Houston
lead to 82-80. McGrady could have sealed the win with 6.5 seconds left, but
made just 1-of-2 for a three-point lead.

Wade went back to the line and missed the first of two shots and then
intentionally missed the second. Shaquille O’Neal grabbed the rebound and
scored instead of looking to pass outside for a potential game-tying three-
pointer. With less than a second left, Wesley hit a free throw and the Heat
did not have enough time for another shot.

Houston is scheduled to host LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on
Thursday. It will be the second and final meeting of the season between the
clubs. On December 29th, the Rockets defeated the Cavaliers, 98-87, at Gund
Arena.

After Thursday’s contest, the Rockets will embark on a four-game road trip
that starts on Friday at New Orleans against the Hornets. Houston will also
visit the San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers on the
swing.

McGrady is averaging 25.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists in his last 10
games. He played 40 or more minutes and netted 20 or more points in eight of
those contests.

HOU