Sunday , Dec , 03 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Rockets crush Cavs, but lose McGrady

Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Yao Ming scored 24 points as the Houston
Rockets got back on the winning track, despite losing star forward Tracy
McGrady to a concussion in the first quarter, with an 81-63 victory over
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Toyota Center.

McGrady left with a mild concussion after getting hit in the face by Dikembe
Mutombo’s elbow toward the close of the first quarter. McGrady was hustling to
double-team James, who got fouled by McGrady while cutting through the lane.

“I said that I think I have to do more,” Yao said. “I need to do more when
Tracy (McGrady) is out, and hopefully that won’t happen a lot. We had
that experience last year. I think I can handle this better than earlier
in the season last year.”

Luther Head posted 13 points and seven rebounds for the Rockets, who have won
five of their last six games and five in a a row at home. Rafer Alston netted
10 points, Juwan Howard had 13 rebounds and Chuck Hayes added 12 boards.

“You have to give Houston credit,” Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. “They
played very physical on both ends of the court and they are a very well
coached team.”

James scored 21 points as the only player in double figures for the Cavaliers,
who have lost two of three. Zydrunas Ilgauskas had nine points for the Cavs,
who shot a dismal 22-for-78 (28.2 percent) from the field.

Houston opened the game on a 15-8 run capped by a reverse layup by McGrady
with 6:21 left, and led 23-19 heading into the second.

The Rockets then blew the game open on a 16-1 burst sparked by a Head reverse
layup to close the second quarter. They held a comfortable 43-29 halftime

Houston upheld its control in the third, outscoring Cleveland by four points
to take a 62-44 lead into the fourth, in which both teams scored 19.

Game Notes

The Rockets outrebounded the Cavs 55-41…Cleveland and Houston split a pair
of meetings last season, but the Rockets have won seven of nine and 11 of the
last 16 matchups…The Cavs have lost nine of their last 11 trips to Houston.