Tuesday , Mar , 07 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Houston still has a chance

(Sports Network) – The Houston Rockets (27-33) still sit in last place in
the Southwest Division, as they are 20 1/2 games behind the division-
leading San Antonio Spurs and 4 1/2 games in back of the fourth
place New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets.

Houston is just 3 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and
final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

On Tuesday, two teams with two-game winning streaks square off, as the
Minnesota Timberwolves host the Rockets at the Target Center. It is the third
meeting of the season between the clubs. In the two previous contests, both
clubs picked up a win on the road. The road team has won two straight and six
of the last seven meetings in this series. Houston has won three of its last
four contests at Minnesota.

On Sunday, Yao Ming finished with 32 points and 13 rebounds to lead Houston to
an easy 102-84 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Toyota Center. Tracy
McGrady contributed 18 points before leaving in third quarter with a back
problem for the Rockets, who beat Portland for a ninth straight time.

David Wesley added 12 points in the win over the Blazers for Houston, while
Juwan Howard netted 11 and grabbed 11 rebounds in the victory for the Rockets,
who have won 12 of their last 16 games overall.

McGrady is questionable for Tuesday’s game. He leads the team in scoring (24.6
ppg).

Houston is 15-15 on the road this season. It has won four of its last five as
the visitor.

Yao is averaging 20.8 points per game and leads the club in rebounding (10.0
rpg). The All-Star center has scored more than 20 points in all seven of
Houston’s games since the All-Star break and has collected six double-doubles
in that span.

The Rockets are scheduled to split their final 22 games of the season evenly
between the Toyota Center and the road.

HOU