Tuesday , Jan , 16 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Rockets hanging on without Yao

(Sports Network) – 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.

Yao is expected to be sidelined into February. Houston is 9-2 without Yao.

The Rockets are a solid 25-13 and sit in third place in the Southwest
Division. They trail the division-leading Dallas Mavericks by 5 1/2 games and
are just one game behind the second place San Antonio Spurs.

Southwest Division rivals battle on Tuesday, as the Mavericks and Rockets put
their four-game winning streaks on the line at American Airlines Center.
On November 4th, Yao poured in 36 points as the Rockets routed the
Mavericks, 107-76, at the Toyota Center.

Dallas has won two straight and four of its last five at Houston. The
Mavericks have won five in a row in this series.

The Rockets play the finale of a three-game road trip against the Mavericks.
On Saturday, All-Star Tracy McGrady scored 37 points and dished out nine
assists as the Rockets outlasted the Sacramento Kings, 115-111, in overtime at
ARCO Arena.

Rafer Alston scored 22 points and handed out eight assists in the win for the
Rockets, while Juwan Howard scored 17 points and Luther Head netted 14 in the
victory. Dikembe Mutombo registered a double-double with 11 points and 18

Houston is 12-10 on the road this season. The Rockets return home to host
Phoenix on Wednesday and Denver on Saturday.

The Rockets have scored 100 or more points in five of their last eight
outings. They are 11-2 when they reach the century mark this season.