Wednesday , Feb , 15 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

McGrady, Rockets storm past Clippers

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Tracy McGrady poured in 28 points and
dished off five assists to lead the Houston Rockets over the LA Clippers,
128-97, at the Staples Center.

“I felt good when I stepped on the court,” said McGrady. “I knew it was going
to be a good day. We were unbelievable shooting the ball.”

Yao Ming added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the surging Rockets, who won
their third straight game. Rafer Alston played a brilliant floor game with 17
points, 13 assists and just one turnover while Keith Bogans had 18 points and
David Wesley recorded 16 in the win.

Sam Cassell posted 25 points and handed out six assists for the Clippers
before getting tossed for arguing in third quarter. Cuttino Mobley tallied 23
points while Elton Brand tallied 21 for Los Angeles, who lost their second
consecutive outing and for the third time in their past four games.

“They are a good defensive team,” said Mobley. “They moved the ball well in
the transition game and they won the hustle game.”

Leading by 12 heading into the second half, Houston continued to increase its
advantage. McGrady’s bucket with just over five minutes left in the third gave
Houston a 20-point cushion, 81-61.

Alston’s triple a few seconds later put the Rockets on top 84-61.

The Clippers managed to cut the deficit to 17, 94-77, by the end of the frame
but Cassell’s ejection virtually guaranteed there would be no miracle
comeback.

A 10-2 run late in the game, capped by five straight Bogans’ points, put
Houston up 118-86 with a little over three minutes left.

A pair of Ryan Bowen free throws with 1:16 on the clock then swelled the lead
to 35, 124-89, Houston’s largest of the game.

The two teams were deadlocked at 30 after the first 12 minutes. Houston inched
ahead with a dominant second quarter and took a 61-49 advantage into
intermission.

McGrady had a dazzling first half with 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting while
Cassell paced the Clippers with 16.

Game Notes

Stromile Swift also reached double figures for Houston with 12 points…The
Rockets dominated the glass with a 47-26 edge…The Rockets, who will visit
the Phoenix Suns on Thursday in their final contest before the All-Star break,
are 14-14 as the visitor this season. They have won three straight on the
road…LA, which will visit the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday in its
final game before the break, is 17-9 as the host this season.

HOU LAC