Saturday , Mar , 04 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Rockets turn back Nuggets

Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Tracy McGrady had 23 points, 11 rebounds and
four blocks to lead the Houston Rockets to an 89-78 victory over the Denver
Nuggets at the Toyota Center.

“That was by far the most passionate that McGrady has played in some time,”
Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. “I thought he was off the charts tonight,
just very assertive on offense, vocal, on the board, defensively – I just
thought he was great.”

Yao Ming had 21 points and eight boards and Stromile Swift netted 15 and
pulled down six rebounds for the Rockets, who snapped a two-game losing streak
and have won four of their last six contests.

Carmelo Anthony poured in a game-high 34 points and Marcus Camby contributed
10 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots for the Nuggets, who have lost
two of their last three games.

“He [Anthony] needed some help and we couldn’t find anyone else to help him,”
Denver coach George Karl said.

A pair of Anthony free throws gave the Nuggets a 33-30 edge, but the Rockets
reeled off a 14-6 spurt, including seven points from McGrady, to give Houston
a 44-39 lead.

The Rockets outscored the Nuggets 30-20 in the second quarter and held a 46-44
edge at the break.

Houston opened the third quarter with a 16-6 run, highlighted by three-
pointers from David Wesley and McGrady, to extend the lead to 62-50. However,
Anthony scored all the points on a 10-2 spurt to narrow the gap to 64-60.

The Rockets held a 73-64 advantage heading into the final frame.

Andre Miller’s reverse layup made the score 76-70, but Houston responded with
a 9-2 spurt, capped by Keith Bogans’ inside bucket, to make the score 85-72
with 4:20 to play.

The Rockets connected on 41.8 percent of their shots, while the Nuggets shot
33.3 percent from the floor.

Denver led 24-16 after 12 minutes of play,

Game Notes

Denver has lost eight of its last 10 games at Houston…The Rockets are
7-3 in their last 10 home games…The Nuggets have lost five of their last
seven contests on the road…Houston’s Rafer Alston dished out seven
assists…The Rockets’ bench scored 29 points.