Monday , Mar , 13 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Without McGrady it could be over for the Rockets

(Sports Network) – The Houston Rockets were playing well and looked like
they had a chance to play themselves into the playoffs. But, things have
changed.

All-Star forward Tracy McGrady is sidelined with a back injury. McGrady left
last Wednesday’s win over the Indiana Pacers early in the third quarter with
back pain and did not return.

McGrady could be sidelined for up to five weeks because of the back injury.
The 6-8 McGrady is averaging a team-best 24.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.8
assists.

On Monday, the New Jersey Nets play the finale of a three-game road trip, as
they visit the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center. It is the second meeting
of the season between the clubs. On November 12th, McGrady scored a game-high
35 points, including 30 in the second half, as the Rockets knocked off the
Nets, 99-91, at Continental Airlines Arena.

Houston tries to get back on the winning track as it plays the opener of a
four-game homestand against New Jersey. On Sunday, Tim Duncan ended with 20
points and 10 rebounds to lead the San Antonio Spurs over the Rockets, 88-81,
at the AT&T Center.

Yao Ming had 25 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in the loss to San
Antonio for the Rockets, who had a four-game winning streak halted. Rafer
Alston ended with 15 points for Houston, which scored just 11 third-quarter
points.

The Rockets are just 13-18 at the host this season. They will also play
Dallas, San Antonio and the Clippers on the current stand. Houston has won
three in a row at the Toyota Center.

Houston owns a 29-34 record and sits in the cellar in the Southwest Division.
The Rockets are three games behind Sacramento for the eighth and final playoff
berth in the West. They are scheduled to play 10 of their final 19 games this
season at the Toyota Center.

HOU