Yao paces Rockets past Sonics
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Yao Ming scored 31 points and grabbed seven
rebounds and Tracy McGrady scored 27 points to lead the Houston Rockets over
the Seattle SuperSonics, 95-90, at KeyArena.
Rafer Alston was the only other Houston player in double figures, scoring 16
The Rockets have won two straight and remain firmly entrenched in the fifth
spot in the Western Conference playoff race.
McGrady and Yao combined to hit 20-of-43 shots from the floor for the Rockets,
who are perfect on their current three-game road trip that ends in Portland on
The Rockets have the fourth-best record in the West, a half-game ahead of
“We need to stay together, just like tonight,” Yao said. “We’ve had some hard
times on the court.”
Rashard Lewis scored 20 points for the Sonics, who have lost five of six.
Lewis ended the game with 10,154 career points, moving into sole possession of
fourth place on the team’s all-time scoring list. He passed Shawn Kemp’s
“It’s very frustrating, we’re losing, a lot of guys are getting injured and we
can’t get a call,” Lewis said. “It’s just frustrating right now.”
Mikael Gelabale had 13 points and Damien Wilkins tallied 13 points for
Seattle, which made this interesting late in the third quarter.
Down 74-64 late in the third quarter, the Sonics went on a 10-2 run that
bridged into the fourth quarter to make it a game. Gelabale scored four of the
first six points for Seattle, which went into the fourth down 76-70. Then
Lewis tallied the final four points, drawing his club within 76-74 just over a
minute into the fourth.
Houston, however, scored eight of the next nine points to build itself a
little cushion. McGrady had four points and Yao’s short turnaround with just
over six minutes left capped the surge for an 84-75 lead.
Seattle got only within five points the rest of the way.
Nick Collison ended with 12 points and 13 rebounds and Chris Wilcox had 13
points and seven boards for the Sonics, who trailed 23-20 at the end of one
quarter and 50-42 at halftime.
Seattle guard Earl Watson left the game in the first quarter with a left ankle
sprain…Houston has won all three meetings against Seattle this season…The
Rockets have won nine of 11 versus Seattle…Houston’s Bonzi Wells was not
with the team for personal reasons.