Barry leads Rockets past Kings
Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Jon Barry scored 24 points off the bench while
Yao Ming had 22 along with 10 rebounds as Houston tipped off its 2005-06
season with a 98-89 victory over Sacramento at the Toyota Center.
Barry, who finished one point shy of a career-high, hit 8-of-10 shots from the
floor and added three steals in 26 minutes. Tracy McGrady contributed 23
points to the winning effort.
Bonzi Wells racked up 22 points and a career-best 18 rebounds while Brad
Miller netted 21 points for the Kings, who played better than Wednesday’s
93-67 whipping by the Hornets in Oklahoma City, but still dropped its second
straight to start the year.
Houston trailed 49-46 at halftime before outscoring the Kings 17-4 to begin
the third quarter. Yao scored the first five points of the second half, and
after a Wells layup tied the score, Derek Anderson and Rafer Alston drained
back-to-back three-pointers to give Houston a 57-51 lead with 7:18 to go in
A pair of baskets from McGrady and an inside bucket by Dikembe Mutombo capped
the big run and put the Rockets up 63-53 with under five minutes left in the
quarter. Sacramento would pull within five points on Kenny Thomas’ jumper with
34 seconds left in the third, but Barry made two free throws on the other end
for a 72-65 lead heading into the final 12 minutes.
A triple by McGrady with under seven minutes remaining extended Houston’s lead
to 83-71, but Sacramento responded with six consecutive points to get within
striking distance. Yao then hit shots on the Rockets’ next three possessions
to essentially put the game out of reach with less than three minutes left.
With Yao spending much of the first quarter on the bench in foul trouble,
Miller poured in 15 points during the period as Sacramento built a nine-point
lead. The rugged center sank a pair of free throws and followed with a
transition layup to turn a one-point edge into a 19-14 advantage eight minutes
in, then later threw down a dunk off a Mike Bibby feed to put the Kings ahead
27-18 at the conclusion of the session.
The Rockets regrouped and strung together nine consecutive points early in the
second quarter to surge in front. A second-chance dunk from Yao and an outside
jumper by Barry, who netted 12 points during the period, gave the hosts a
33-31 lead with seven minutes left before intermission.
Houston still led by two late in the half before the Kings embarked on a 10-2
run, with the last eight points coming from Shareef Abdur-Rahim, to go up
49-43. McGrady canned a three-pointer in the closing seconds to pull Houston
within three at the break.
Adbur-Rahim ended with 17 points and nine boards.
Barry’s career-high of 25 points was set with Detroit on November 23, 2001
against Atlanta…Sacramento lost its first two games to start the season for
the second consecutive year…Wells’ previous personal best was 14 rebounds,
established four times before…Yao reached double-figure points for the 44th
consecutive game…The Kings had won seven of the last nine meetings with
Houston coming in.