Yao’s 38 powers Rockets past Wizards
Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Yao Ming scored 38 points and grabbed 11
rebounds as the Houston Rockets withstood a 41-point barrage by Gilbert Arenas
to hold on for a 114-109 victory over the Washington Wizards.
Tracy McGrady chipped in 28 points for the Rockets, who have won two in a row
and four of five. McGrady had to leave the game in the third quarter with
back spasms, though, and did not return. Rafer Alston and Luther Head
contributed 12 points apiece while Shane Battier and Juwan Howard scored 10
points each for Houston.
Antawn Jamison scored 27 and pulled down 11 boards for the Wizards, who had a
three-game winning streak snapped with the loss. Caron Butler scored 17 and
raked in 10 boards for Washington.
“It was a tough loss for us, but there were some positives. The effort was
there,” said Wizards coach Eddie Jordan.
Arenas missed a three with 10 seconds left with the Wizards trailing 112-109,
and Battier hit two free throws to finish off the win for the Rockets. Yao
turned it on in the fourth quarter, keeping the Wizards at arms length by
scoring 23 in the game’s final 12 minutes.
“I thought, obviously, he delivered,” said Rockets head coach Jeff Van
Gundy. “Teams can do a good job on him, but…guarded legally, he’s going
Houston led at the end of the third quarter 80-75.
Jamison carried the Wizards in the first quarter, scoring 11 of Washington’s
23 points. He took over late in the quarter, scoring nine straight for the
Wizards in the last 4:33. A three-pointer from Jarvis Hayes as time expired in
the quarter gave the Wizards a 23-20 lead going into the second.
Arenas sprung to life in the second quarter, putting on a shooting display
that netted him 19 points before halftime. With six minutes left in the
quarter, Arenas only scored three points. He proceeded to score 16 straight,
drilling four threes to keep the Wizards in the game, as they led 52-51 at the
The game was delayed nine-minutes between the third and fourth quarters due to
a power malfunction with the lights at the Verizon Center…Houston has won
four straight over Washington…Arenas hit 7-of-15 from three-point range, but
only made 6-of-15 from inside the arc…Yao hit all six field goals he
attempted in the fourth quarter, and 11-of-12 from the free-throw line.