Wednesday , Jan , 24 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Rockets hold off Spurs

San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) – Tracy McGrady finished with 37 points,
including a key three-point play down the stretch, as the Houston Rockets
edged the San Antonio Spurs, 90-85, at the AT&T Center.

McGrady also gathered eight rebounds while Rafer Alston had 19 points and
seven assists for the Rockets, who snapped a three-game skid. Houston had lost
17 of its last 18 at San Antonio.

Tim Duncan erupted for 37 points and also collected 10 boards for San Antonio,
which had a three-game winning streak snapped. Manu Ginobili chipped in with
15 points.

The majority of the game was nip-and-tuck, with Houston holding a 61-58 edge
after three quarters.

The Rockets, though, opened up the final frame with a 13-2 burst that gave the
road team a 74-60 advantage. Shane Battier had six points in the spurt,
including a tip-in bucket with 7:32 remaining to up the lead to 14 points.

San Antonio chipped away over the next couple minutes, and sliced its deficit
to eight following a Michael Finley jumper. The Spurs later moved within five,
83-78, following a Duncan jumper with 1:39 on the clock.

Moments later, with the Spurs down four, Bruce Bowen stripped McGrady and then
fed Duncan, who hit a layup to make it 85-83. He was fouled on the play, but
missed the ensuing free throw.

McGrady had an answer, nailing a jumper from the elbow despite being fouled
in the process. He then dropped in the free throw for a five-point Houston
lead. The Rockets were able to hold their opponent off the rest of the way.

The defenses dominated the first half, as the Spurs led the low-scoring affair
37-36 at the break.

McGrady heated up in the third quarter, netting 12 points in the frame to push
his team in front.

Game Notes

The Spurs are 15-8 at home this season. They will host the Memphis Grizzlies
on Friday…Houston is a respectable 13-11 on the road this season…The
Rockets now return home for a five-game homestand. They will host Portland,
Philadelphia, Seattle, New Orleans/Oklahoma City and Minnesota on the upcoming