Monday , Mar , 05 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Cavs hold off Rockets in Yao’s return

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Larry Hughes drained a key free throw to
make it a two-possession game with nine seconds left, and Cleveland staved off
a Tracy McGrady scoring spree to knock off the Houston Rockets, 91-85, at
Quicken Loans Arena.

Huges scored 22 points with seven assists and six rebounds, while LeBron James
led Cleveland with 32 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Cleveland has won
two straight and three of four.

McGrady scored 25 points, but made only 10-of-32 shots from the floor. Yao
Ming returned from a fractured right tibia suffered on December 23rd against
the Los Angeles Clippers, scoring 16 points with 11 rebounds.

Shane Battier added 15 points for Houston, which has lost two straight and
four of five.

A Donyell Marshall three-pointer gave Cleveland a 76-62 lead with 9:14 on the
clock, but McGrady and Yao carried the Rockets back into the game.

Yao scored seven straight Houston points with a three-point play drawing the
Rockets within 79-69. McGrady’s driving layup and long-distance jumper cut the
deficit 80-76 with 5;06 left.

Another McGrady jumper kept Houston within four points, 84-80, with just 3:08
to play, but the superstar missed two threes that could have cut the deficit
to one point on the next two possessions.

However, his jumper did bring Houston within 84-82 before he missed an open
look at a tie.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas made a layup and Hughes tossed a deft alley-oop to James,
the latter giving the Cavs an 88-82 edge.

After a McGrady three, Hughes slashed to the rim and was fouled by Rafer
Alston from behind. He made 1-of-2 to make the score 89-85 and Cleveland
held on for the victory from there.

Game Notes

Houston held a 58-47 edge on the backboards…The game featured eight ties and
five lead changes…Houston has still won six of the last eight
meetings…Attendance 20,562.