Yao, Rockets down Wizards
Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Yao Ming took over the game with 25 points, 14
rebounds and two blocks, as the Houston Rockets edged the Washington Wizards
86-82 at the Toyota Center.
Tracy McGrady added 13 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists while Rafer
Alston and Luther Head each netted 12 for the Rockets, who have won two in a
row and three of their last four games.
Gilbert Arenas scored a game-high 26 points and Caron Butler chipped in 14
points and 12 boards for the Wizards, who have lost two straight and five of
their last six contests.
McGrady’s trey gave the Rockets a 60-45 margin, but the Wizards scored 11 of
the final 17 points of the third quarter, highlighted by Jarvis Hayes’ three-
pointer, narrowing the gap to 66-56 heading into the final frame.
Washington fought back with a 15-5 rally to open the fourth quarter, including
six points from Butler, to pull within one, 72-71 with 5:43 on the clock.
Both teams proceeded to go more than three minutes without scoring before Head
was fouled while attempting a three. He drained all three at the line, and the
next time he touched the ball Head’s three-pointer gave the Rockets a 78-71
margin with less than two minutes remaining.
Arenas hit a trey at the other end before Butler shot two from the charity
stripe, cutting the deficit to 78-76 with 1:28 on the clock.
After a pair of Yao free throws, Arenas went 3-of-4 at the line to make the
score 80-79 with 29 ticks to play.
Alston’s three with six seconds remaining and one second on the shot clock
made it a two possession contest, but Arenas took the inbounds pass and
banked a three-pointer with a little more than three seconds left to pull
Head was fouled and hit 1-of-2 at the line, but grabbed the offensive rebound
to seal the win.
Houston led 23-15 after the first quarter and extended its lead to 40-28 at
the half, as the Wizards connected on 11-of-44 shots from the floor in the
first 24 minutes.
Houston has won three straight and six of the last seven meetings…The
Rockets shot 41 percent from the field while Washington connected on just 33
percent of its shots, including 7-of-15 from beyond the arc…Washington’s
Antawn Jamison had 10 points and eight boards, while DeShaun Stevenson was 0-
for-7 from the floor with zero points.