Sunday , Feb , 26 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Yao, T-Mac lead Rockets past Magic

=== Yao, T-Mac lead Rockets past Magic ===

Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – Yao Ming posted a third consecutive double-
double, scoring 29 points and grabbing 11 boards, as the Houston Rockets held
on to beat the Orlando Magic, 89-84, at the TD Waterhouse Centre.

Tracy McGrady added 19 points and nine rebounds in his return following a one
game absence due to a death in the family. Rafer Alston recorded 13 points and
10 helpers for the Rockets, who have won six of their last seven games.

“We’re playing extremely well, especially when myself and Yao are on the
basketball court,” said McGrady. “Our record is pretty bad right now and
that’s due to the fact that we had a lot of injuries. I don’t want to harp on
that. We are still capable of turning the season into something real
special.”

Grant Hill paced the Magic with 22 points and Carlos Arroyo added 17 points
off the bench for Orlando, which has dropped nine of 10 and 13 of its last 15
contests.

“I think just looking back at this game, we all have to sit down and think
about the energy level that we brought out the second half of the game,” said
Arroyo. “We’re the underdog every game now and we just have to bring that
energy out with us every game from the beginning.”

With 10:54 to play in the third, a Yao hook shot sparked a 16-4 run for the
Rockets. McGrady, in his second game back in Orlando since being traded from
the Magic, closed the run with a jumper to put his team up 60-45, and the
Rockets were ahead 67-52 heading into the final quarter. The Magic were held
to just 13 points in the frame.

A jumper from Howard with 10:21 to play gave the Rockets their largest lead of
the game, 74-54.

Hedo Turkoglu’s three-pointer with 1:21 to play capped a 19-6 Magic spurt that
pulled Orlando within three, 82-79. However, Juwan Howard answered with a
jumper on the ensuing possession to put the Rockets up five, 84-79, with 1:05
left.

Hill’s layup with 10.8 seconds left cut the deficit to three, 87-84, but David
Wesley got loose for an easy layup on the Rockets’ next possession to seal the
victory.

Alston capped a 13-4 first quarter run for the Rockets with a three-pointer to
put Houston up 18-11. The Rockets held a five point advantage after one,
22-17.

Houston maintained its five point edge thanks to 14 first-half points from
McGrady, and led 44-39 at the break.

Game Notes

Houston has now won four straight in Orlando…The Rockets now sport an 18-8
record with both Yao and McGrady in the line-up…Orlando shot 10-of-16 from
the floor in the fourth quarter…The Rockets shot 78.8 percent from the foul
line, while Orlando shot just 64.1 percent.

HOU ORL