Afternoon delight: Rockets in flight in Orlando
(Sports Network) – The suddenly-hot Houston Rockets travel to Orlando Sunday
afternoon for a showdown with the Magic at TD Waterhouse Centre.
Houston played without star Tracy McGrady on Friday night, but didn’t need him
as Yao Ming stepped up with 22 points and 21 rebounds in a 91-88 win over the
Golden State Warriors.
It was the third time in Yao’s career that he recorded 20 points and 20
rebounds in a game. His effort gave Houston its ninth win in 11 games.
McGrady missed the game due to a death in his family and is questionable for
Sunday’s tilt with his old team in Orlando.
The Rockets, who have won two straight, had dropped their previous 13 games
when McGrady, their leading scorer, was not on the floor.
Houston is 3-1 in its last four road games and owns a 14-15 record as the
guest this season.
Orlando, meanwhile, ended an eight-game losing streak with Friday’s 102-89 win
against the Seattle SuperSoincs at TD Waterhouse Center.
Dwight Howard poured in 23 points and pulled down 16 rebounds, as the Magic
won for just the second time in their last 14 games. Grant Hill added 19
points and DeShawn Stevenson had 14 and six rebounds for Orlando.
The Magic are 14-13 at home this season, but have dropped two of their last
three as the host.
In the first meeting of the season between Houston and Orlando on November 8,
Jameer Nelson scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter, including
eight straight at one point for a 76-74 win at the Toyota Center.
Dwight Howard and DeShawn Stevenson each had 12 points for the Magic, who
snapped a six-game skid against the Rockets.
Houston, though, has won seven of the last 10 meetings, including three in a
row in Orlando.
Barring any miracles, both teams are not headed to the postseason.