Wednesday , Nov , 29 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Houston is back on track

(Sports Network) – After a dismal 2005-06 campaign, which saw Houston finish
a disappointing 34-48, the Rockets have opened the new season by winning 10 of
their first 14 games.

Houston is tied with the Dallas Mavericks for second place in the Southwest
Division, one-half game behind the division-leading San Antonio Spurs.

On Wednesday, the Rockets and Phoenix Suns both try and extend their winning
streaks to five games, as they battle at US Airways Center. The Suns have won
three in a row over Houston. The Rockets have lost three of five and four of
their last seven at Phoenix.

Houston is fresh off a perfect 3-0 homestand. On Tuesday, Shane Battier scored
17 points and hit a pair of momentum-changing three-pointers in the fourth
quarter to lift the Rockets to an 82-75 victory over the Minnesota
Timberwolves at the Toyota Center.

Battier made all five of his three-point shots, while All-Star center Yao Ming
finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who have won four
straight and nine of their last 11 contests overall.

Rafer Alston had 13 points and seven assists, but Tracy McGrady tied a season-
low with eight points and suffered a left hip injury in the first half. He
played nearly 33 minutes and also had seven assists, but shot just 4-of-14
from the field.

McGrady is probable for Wednesday’s contest. He is averaging 18.4 points, 5.9
rebounds and a team-best 6.7 assists per game. The All-Star guard has scored
in double-digits in 12 of 14 games.

The Rockets are 4-3 on the road this season. After tonight’s contest, Houston
returns home to host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday and the Golden State
Warriors on December 5th at the Toyota Center.

Yao leads the Rockets in scoring (26.3 ppg) and rebounds (10.4 rpg). He is
shooting an impressive 54.4 percent from the floor, and has scored 20 or more
points in 11 straight and 13 of 14 games.

Houston has allowed 100 or more points twice this season and is 1-1 in those