Wednesday , Feb , 21 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Miami’s Pat Riley returns to bench in Houston

(Sports Network) – The Miami Heat welcome head coach Pat Riley back to
the bench tonight when they travel to Houston to battle the Rockets at the
Toyota Center.

Riley announced before the Heat’s 104-85 win over Portland last Tuesday he
would return after the All-Star break. Assistant Ron Rothstein took over in
Riley’s place and compiled a 13-9 mark. Miami is 13-17 under Riley this year.

Riley stepped aside from his duties on January 3rd because of health related
issues. He was suffering from knee and hip conditions, both of which required

Dwyane Wade poured in 25 points in the win over Portland despite suffering a
bruised left shoulder. He suffered the injury when colliding with the Trail
Blazers’ Joel Przybilla before landing on top of him.

He left the game, but did return and had 16 points in the final period. He is
not expected to miss anytime with the ailment, and even netted 10 points with
six steals in the East’s 153-132 setback over the weekend.

Teammate Shaquille O’Neal added 10 points and six boards for the East on

In other All-Star game festivities, Miami’s Jason Kapono captured the Three-
Point Shootout, while Wade repeated as the Skills Challenge champion.

The Heat have won seven of their last eight games to get back to .500 (26-26)
and are 4 1/2 games back of Washington for the lead in the Southeast Division.
The club currently is tied for seventh overall in the conference with Orlando
and is 11-16 on the road this year.

Miami will play in Dallas on Thursday.

Houston is concluding a four-game homestand tonight. The Rockets fell to 2-1
on the stand after an 80-77 setback against Dallas last Thursday.

Tracy McGrady scored 27 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Rockets,
are 19-7 as the host this year. Juwan Howard scored 14 points for Houston, and
Shane Battier added 11 points.

McGrady represented Houston in Las Vegas over the weekend and had eight points
and 11 assists in the West’s win.

Houston center Yao Ming was voted into the game, but didn’t play and is still
expected to miss another 2-3 weeks because of a fracture bone under his right

The Rockets are currently fifth overall in the west and are 10 1/2 games off
the pace in the Southwest Division.

Houston captured the first meeting between the two teams this year to snap a
two-game overall losing streak in the series. The Rockets, though, have
dropped four of their last six at home against Miami.