Friday , Dec , 22 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Rockets visit Southwest Division-rival San Antonio

(Sports Network) – The Houston Rockets hope to end a lengthy recent lack of
success against the San Antonio Spurs when the two in-state rivals face one
another tonight at the AT&T Center.

San Antonio has thoroughly dominated this series as of late. The Spurs have
won seven straight and 14 of their 16 games against the Rockets, who have lost
17 in a row in San Antonio as well.

Houston actually has never won at the AT&T Center. The Rockets are 0-8
lifetime since the arena opened for business at the start of the 2002-03

The Southwest Division-leading Spurs are currently riding a five-game overall
win streak and dealt Memphis a 105-98 defeat on Wednesday. Tim Duncan scored
21 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the way.

Michael Finley scored 20 points off of the bench for the Spurs, who have won
nine of 10 and lead the Rockets by 4 1/2 games in the division standings. Tony
Parker added 18 points and 10 assists to the triumphant effort.

San Antonio will wrap up a three-game homestand tonight and is an outstanding
10-3 at the AT&T Center in 2006-07.

The Rockets have played the last five games without All-Star Tracy McGrady,
who is battling back spasms, and lost four of them. Houston was just handed a
narrow defeat Wednesday at Portland, which came through with an 89-87 win
behind Zach Randolph’s 24 points and 13 rebounds.

The loss overshadowed a 34-point effort by Houston center Yao Ming, who also
grabbed nine boards. Rafer Alston finished with 20 points and eight assists
for the Rockets.

Yao has now averaged 33 points and 11.4 rebounds with McGrady, who again is
not expected to be available tonight, out of the lineup over the last five

Houston will finish up a five-game road trip this evening. The Rockets are 1-3
so far on the trek and 7-8 away from home for the season.