Thursday , Apr , 12 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

McGrady paces Rockets over Blazers

Portland, OR (Sports Network) – Tracy McGrady posted 32 points, eight rebounds
and seven assists, as the Houston Rockets wrapped up a three-game road
trip with a 99-95 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Yao Ming notched 27 points and 12 boards for the Rockets, who are the fifth
seed in the Western Conference playoff standings. Rafer Alston netted 23
points for Houston, which went 3-0 on the swing.

Brandon Roy scored 20 points for Portland, which is on a three-game skid. Fred
Jones scored 18 points, Travis Outlaw 16, and Jamaal Magloire added 13 points
and 10 boards for Portland, which has lost seven of its last nine games.

Trailing by 19 points at the start of the fourth, Portland went on a 21-7
burst, as Roy’s jumper with 4:43 left cut its deficit to just 85-80.

Outlaw scored on his second straight jumper with 58 seconds left to cut
Portland’s deficit to 94-88. Yao then turned the ball over as Dan Dickau stole
it, but Yao then made Dickau alter his shot on a layup attempt that just
rimmed out.

Alston then missed on a pair of free-throw attempts with 24.2 seconds left,
keeping it a two-possession game for Portland. Roy missed on a three-pointer,
but Outlaw fared better on his trey with 12.8 seconds remaining.

Alston went back to the charity stripe, this time making both attempts for a
96-91 Houston lead with 11.9 seconds on the clock.

Magloire cut hard down the lane for a dunk with 8.7 seconds left, but Alston
converted 1-of-2 free throws 1.2 seconds later. Dickau’s layup with one tick
remaining made it a two-point game, as Houston had only to inbound the ball
for the win.

Yao got fouled with 0.1 on the clock, and made both free throws to seal the
win for Houston.

Alston’s layup with 3:33 left capped a 17-8 run by Houston to start the game,
and the Rockets then closed the stanza on a 6-0 spurt for a 28-16 lead heading
into the second.

Houston added to its margin by going on a 13-4 run midway through the second
as Shane Battier’s trey with 5:42 left put the Rockets up 43-28. They led
53-36 at halftime.

Portland started to rally by scoring seven straight just past the midway point
of the third, and five straight down the stretch to cut its deficit to 78-59
heading into the fourth.

Game Notes

Guard and former Blazer Bonzi Wells (personal) missed the contest for the
Rockets. Portland was without two of its top players. Forwards LaMarcus
Aldridge (heart condition) and Zach Randolph (right hand surgery) are both out
for the remainder of the season…This was the fourth and final meeting of the
campaign between the squads. Portland went 2-2 against the Rockets this season
and has won three of the last five contests in the series…Houston has lost
10 of its last 18 at Portland.