Friday , Mar , 07 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Are the Houston Rockets a Legit Challenger in the West?

Rafer Alston raised his fists and kept them high above his head as he marched slowly, triumphantly back to the Rockets’ bench.Tracy McGrady pumped his fist and shouted again and again, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah,’ his voice clear in the silent arena, save the voices from the splashes of Rockets fans in red among the crowd seeking an early escape from American Airlines Center.Shane Battier had slipped in a fittingly easy layup on a fast break, pushing the Rockets’ lead to 15 points, but there was still a quarter left to play.

There was, however, no doubt. And to the Rockets, there never was. They threw themselves and their winning streaks into the face of the Mavericks’ recent dominance of them and came out on the other side with another rout, smashing Dallas 113-98 on Thursday night for the Rockets’ eighth consecutive win by at least 12 points. I don’t think anyone in our room didn’t think we could beat Dallas,’ Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. Click here for more from the Houston Chronicle.