Wednesday , Dec , 20 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Portland tries to collect fifth straight win against Rockets

(Sports Network) – The Portland Trail Blazers hope to extend their season-
long winning streak to five games when they welcome the Houston Rockets to the
Rose Garden.

Portland plays the middle contest of a three-game homestand. Zach Randolph
registered 26 points, seven rebounds and had a season-high five assists to
lead the Trail Blazers to a 109-99 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on
Friday at the Rose Garden.

Travis Outlaw added 15 points off the bench in the victory over LA for the
Trail Blazers, while Jarrett Jack scored 14 points, grabbed five rebounds and
dished out five assists for Portland, which snapped a four-game home losing
streak.

The Trail Blazers are 5-6 at home this season. They are scheduled to host T.J.
Ford and the Toronto Raptors on Friday in the finale of the current homestand.

Houston plays the fourth of a five-game road trip. It is 1-2 on the swing. On
Sunday, Yao Ming scored a game-high 32 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and
dished out five assists to lead the Rockets to a 108-103 victory over the
Clippers at the Staples Center.

Yao, who has score more than 30 points in three straight games, was 12-of-18
from the floor and made 8-of-9 from the charity stripe in the victory over the
Clippers for the Rockets, who snapped a three-game slide. Rafer Alston
contributed 26 points and eight assists, while Luther Head ended with 14
points in the win.

On the injury front for Houston, guard Tracy McGrady (back spasms) is doubtful
for tonight’s contest. He has missed four straight games. McGrady is averaging
19.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and a team-best 6.3 assists.

The Rockets are 7-7 on the road this season. They will visit Tim Duncan and
the San Antonio Spurs on Friday at the AT&T Center.

Houston has won four of its last five at Portland. The Rockets have won nine
of the last 10 games in this series.

HOU POR