Wednesday , Jan , 03 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Houston hanging in without Yao

(Sports Network) – The Houston Rockets are 19-12 and are in third place in
the Southwest Division. They trail the division-leading Dallas Mavericks by 5
1/2 games.

All-Star center Yao Ming , who leads the Rockets in scoring (25.9 ppg) and
rebounding (9.4 rpg), suffered a non displaced fracture in a bone under
his right knee during a 98-93 loss on December 23rd to the Los Angeles
Clippers. He does not need surgery, but is expected to be sidelined into
February. Houston is 3-1 without Yao.

The Rockets try to extend their winning streak to four games, as they welcome
the Seattle SuperSonics on Wednesday to the Toyota Center. It is the first
meeting of the season between the clubs this season. Seattle has lost three
straight after winning its last three at Houston.

Houston plays the third of a four-game homestand against the SuperSonics.
Tracy McGrady posted a season-high 38 points and nine rebounds, as the Rockets
knocked off the Memphis Grizzlies, 111-109, at the Toyota Center.

Juwan Howard posted 22 points and seven rebounds in the win for the Rockets,
who won their third straight contest. Luther Head finished with 18 points and
Rafer Alston contributed 11 points and six assists in the victory.

The Rockets are an impressive 10-3 at home this season. They are scheduled to
host Carlos Boozer and the Utah Jazz on Friday. The Jazz defeated Houston,
107-97, on November 1st at Utah.

McGrady, who missed seven games earlier this season with back spasms, has
scored in double-digits in all four games without Yao. He is averaging 26.3
points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists during that span.