McGrady too much as Rockets handle Cavs
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Tracy McGrady poured in a game-high 34 points, pulled down five rebounds and dished out five assists to lead Houston to a 90-81 win over Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena.
Rafer Alston added 18 points and six assists for the Rockets, who won their second straight game. Juwan Howard chipped in 16 points and nine boards for Houston.
LeBron James, who came into the game following his sixth career triple double, had 32 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Cavs, who lost for the first time in three games. James shot 13-of-19 from the floor while Zydrunas Ilgauskas tallied 17 points and 10 boards for Cleveland. Donyell Marshall had 11 points off the bench in the loss.
The Cavs were sluggish early and spent the night trying to climb back in the game. Trailing by 17 points, Marshall's three capped a 17-4 run that cut the Houston lead to four, 73-69, with just over nine minutes left in the fourth.
The Rockets quickly answered with a 6-0 burst highlighted by a long McGrady jumper that extended the lead back to double digits with less than six minutes remaining.
Cleveland then responded with seven straight points featuring another long distance delivery from Marshall and an Ilgauskas jumper to make it a 79-76 game with 4:36 left.
The Rockets would not waver, however, and outscored the Cavs 9-2 over the next three minutes. Howard's jumper with 1:17 left gave Houston an 88-78 advantage and sealed the game.
Houston's stifling defense enabled the Rockets to take a 24-18 lead after one and a 49-35 edge into the half. McGrady paced the Rockets with 23 points, while James had 14 for the Cavs.
The Cavs closed the gap to 71-60 heading into the fourth quarter.
Houston is 11-2 this season when it scores 90 points or more...The Cavs were a dismal 8-of-18 from the charity stripe and a woeful 7-of-29 from beyond the arc...Marshall was just 4-of-16 from the floor...Cleveland had won six in a row at home and is now 13-4 in its arena...The Rockets are 9-9 away from home this season...Houston has won five straight and six of the last seven matchups with Cleveland. The Rockets have also won three straight in Cleveland.CLE HOU