Wednesday , Nov , 08 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Yao, Rockets surge past Grizzlies

Memphis, TN (Sports Network) – Yao Ming had 24 points and seven rebounds, as
Houston used a fourth-quarter surge to pull away for an 86-80 win over the
Memphis Grizzlies.

Tracy McGrady totaled 19 points and nine rebounds for the Rockets, who shot
just 3-of-18 from three-point range and committed 24 turnovers, but still
snapped a four-game skid versus the Grizzlies.

“We’re still growing every day and still learning,” McGrady said. “We made a
lot of mistakes tonight. We made it harder than it should have been, but more
importantly, we came out with the win.”

Chuck Hayes had 12 points and 11 rebounds, and former Grizzlies player
Shane Battier also scored 12 for the Rockets.

Stromile Swift scored 15 to pace Memphis, which has lost two in a row.

A jam by Dahntay Jones brought Memphis within 72-71 with 7:41 left, but the
Grizzlies went 3-of-16 from the field down the stretch.

Yao responded with two free throws and Luther Head drilled a three-pointer.
McGrady then hit two foul shots for a 79-71 lead with 5:41 left.

The Grizzlies didn’t close the gap under four the rest of the way. The dagger
for Memphis came with 1:19 left when McGrady completed a three-point play for
an 84-75 advantage. Swift’s jumper had Memphis within 84-80 with 9.3 seconds
left, but Rafer Alston hit two free throws to account for the final margin.

“In the fourth, we just couldn’t get it going,” Jones said. “It was very
frustrating because our defense was holding them (Houston) down. We just
couldn’t get it going.”

A Battier three-pointer extended Houston to a 10-4 lead and the Rockets led
19-12 after one period.

Memphis, which never led in the game, got within 27-23 on a Rudy Gay jump
shot, but the Rockets scored 10 of the next 14 points. A McGrady free throw
made it 37-27 with 3:15 remaining in the half.

Eddie Jones’ three-pointer at the end of the second quarter brought Memphis
within 45-39.

A three by Mike Miller tied the game at 45 less than two minutes into the
third, but the Rockets responded with the next nine points. McGrady had a tip-
in to start the spurt and made one foul shot following a technical on Miller.
Hayes’ tip shot made it 54-45 with 7:53 remaining in the quarter. It was 64-60
going into the fourth.

Game Notes

Alston had 10 points…Houston outrebounded the Grizzlies, 45-33…The Rockets
went 27-of-30 at the foul line…Eddie Jones had 14 points, Gay 12 and Miller