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

Mavs, Rockets battle in Houston

(Sports Network) – A pair of Southwest Division rivals square off this
evening, as the Houston Rockets host the Dallas Mavericks at the Toyota

The Rockets opened their season on Wednesday night with a 107-97 loss to the
Utah Jazz at the Delta Center. Tracy McGrady had 25 points and nine rebounds
for the Rockets, while Yao Ming added 22 points and nine rebounds.

Rafer Alston had 15 points and Kirk Snyder chipped in 13 for Houston, which
trailed by as many as 20 points against the Jazz. Houston also shot 43.2
percent from the field.

After Saturday’s game against Dallas the Rockets will hit the road for three
games against New Orleans/Oklahoma City, Memphis and Milwaukee.

Meanwhile, the defending Western Conference-champion Mavericks dropped their
season opener, 97-91, to the rival San Antonio Spurs.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, while Josh Howard
scored 20 points for the Mavericks, who eliminated the Spurs on their way to
the Western Conference title before losing the NBA Championship to the Miami
Heat in six games.

Jason Terry contributed 14 points for Dallas, while Austin Croshere, who was
acquired in an offseason trade, added 12 points off the bench.

Dallas went 4-0 in the 2005-06 season series against Houston and has won six
of eight and 12 of the last 15 meetings.

The Mavs have won two straight, four of five and seven of their previous nine
trips to Houston.