Sunday , Dec , 31 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

McGrady, Rockets edge Grizzlies

Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Tracy McGrady posted a season-high 38 points
and nine rebounds, as the Houston Rockets resumed their four-game homestand
with a 111-109 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at the Toyota Center.

With the game deadlocked at 94 with four minutes left, Houston went on a 10-1
run snapped by a Pau Gasol dunk with 1:51 remaining. Mike Miller drained a
three with 52.6 seconds left to bring Memphis within four, but Luther Head
answered right back with a trey with 33.6 seconds on the clock.

Gasol converted a pair of free throws with 30 seconds to go, and Rafer Alston
missed a pair of free throws to keep it a two-possession game. Miller scored a
runner in the lane with 15.2 seconds left for a 109-106 Memphis deficit.

Head, however, hit the second of two free throws with 13.8 seconds left to
make it a two-possession game. Stromile Swift tipped in a shot with 6.2
seconds left, but, with 5.4 seconds left, Head again hit the second of two
free throws to keep it a one-possession game.

Chucky Atkins hit the first of two free throws and missed the second on
purpose with 3.6 seconds left, but Houston secured the rebound and the win.

Juwan Howard posted 22 points and seven rebounds for the Rockets, who won
their third straight. Head finished with 18 points and Alston had 11 points
and six assists.

Miller had 32 points for the Grizzlies, who have dropped six of their last
seven. Gasol finished with 21 points and six boards. Atkins posted 14 points
and eight rebounds, while Swift added 13 points and nine boards.

Memphis outscored Houston, 29-24, in the first quarter, but Houston trimmed
four points off its deficit in the second to trail 59-58 at halftime.

The Rockets battled back in the third. They went on an 11-2 spurt midway
through the stanza capped by a McGrady three-point play with a tick over five
minutes left, and led 84-74 heading into the fourth.

However, Memphis opened the final stanza on an 11-3 run capped by an Eddie
Jones slam with 7:13 remaining to cut it to a two-point game.

Game Notes

Houston is 3-0 against the Grizzlies this season, but Memphis has won five of
the last nine meetings. Memphis, though, has dropped five of seven and 10 of
its last 14 trips to Houston.