Thursday , Feb , 16 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Houston is starting to come around

(Sports Network) – The Houston Rockets (22-30) have won three straight
games, but will still head into the All-Star break in last place in the
Southwest Division.

Houston wraps up a brief two-game road trip on Thursday against the Phoenix
Suns at US Airways Center. It is the second meeting of the season between the
squads. On November 23rd, Marion led six Phoenix players in double figure
scoring with 19 points and also pulled down 12 rebounds, as the Suns beat the
Rockets, 100-88, at the Toyota Center.

The Suns have won two of three and six of the last eight meetings in this
series. Houston has won five of its last eight at Phoenix.

On Tuesday, Tracy McGrady poured in 28 points and dished off five assists to
lead the Rockets over the Los Angeles Clippers, 128-97, at the Staples Center.

Yao Ming added 17 points and 12 rebounds in the win over the Clippers for the
surging Rockets, who have won seven of their last eight games overall. Rafer
Alston finished with 17 points and 13 assists, while Keith Bogans contributed
18 points and David Wesley netted 16 in the victory.

McGrady and Yao will be in the starting lineup for the Western Conference in
Sunday’s All-Star Game, which will be played at the Toyota Center.

The Rockets are 14-14 as the visitor this season. They have won three in a row
on the road.

Yao is averaging 20.1 points and a team-best 9.4 rebounds per game in 31
contests this season, while McGrady leads the club in scoring (25.6 ppg).

After the All-Star break, Houston returns home for a short two-game homestand.
The Rockets are scheduled to host the Los Angeles Clippers on February 22nd
and the Golden State Warriors on February 24th.

The Rockets are 11-1 when they score 100 or more points this season.