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Archive for Sunday, January 18, 2004

Rockets get boost from Yao

Houston halts Timberwolves’ five-game win streak

January 18, 2004

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— Yao Ming eclipsed 20 points and 10 rebounds for the third straight game -- something he hadn't done before in his NBA career.

Yao had 22 points and 15 rebounds to lead six Rockets players in double figures, and Houston held Minnesota to 26 points in the first half of a 95-76 victory Saturday.

"He's been more aggressive the last three games. I keep wishing that he would do that all of the time," the Rockets' Steve Francis said.

Yao had 21 points and 15 rebounds Wednesday against Boston and 21 points and 11 rebounds Tuesday against Washington. His recent strong play has coincided with the Rockets' three-game winning streak.

"I thought he was very active. Whenever he gets some offensive rebounds that helps, and when he gets open shots that helps," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "He can score in a number of ways.

"He had a bit of a lull there for four or five games, but recently he's really played well.

Minnesota had its five-game winning streak snapped.

Francis scored 19, Maurice Taylor 16, Cuttino Mobley 13, Jim Jackson 11 and Kelvin Cato 10. Sam Cassell led Minnesota with 25 points. Kevin Garnett added 19 and Latrell Sprewell had 13.

Houston, which never trailed, used a 15-0 run to take a 31-13 lead.

"We got kicked, and that's all you can say about it. They came out and dominated us from beginning to end," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said.

It was 39-16 before Cassell scored eight points in the final 2:13 of the first half to cut the deficit to 45-26 at halftime. Minnesota missed 27 of its first 34 shots.

"We couldn't throw a beach ball into the ocean," Garnett said. "It was not a pretty game."

Pistons 99, Bucks 94

Milwaukee -- Detroit extended its winning streak to 12 games, getting 26 points from Chauncey Billups and 22 from Richard Hamilton in a victory over Milwaukee. With one more victory, the Pistons will match the franchise record of 13 straight set during the 1989-90 championship season. Their next game is Monday at home against San Antonio.

Ben Wallace had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Corliss Williamson had 13 points as Detroit snapped the Bucks' 10-game home winning streak.

Michael Redd 24 of his 30 points in the second half for the Bucks, who had won seven of eight. Tim Thomas added 22.

Knicks 101, Bulls 96

Chicago -- Keith Van Horn scored 16 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, and New York improved to 2-0 under new coach Lenny Wilkens with a victory over Chicago. Allan Houston added 26 points and Stephon Marbury had 18 points and eight assists for the Knicks, who won their third straight. New York won for only the second time in 12 games when trailing going into the fourth quarter.

Hornets 91, Magic 90

New Orleans -- Steve Smith and Robert Traylor came off the bench to combine for 23 second-half points and lift New Orleans over Orlando. Tracy McGrady had a shot to win the game, but his running hook over P.J. Brown rolled off the back of the rim, giving New Orleans the ball back with 0.9 seconds left. A quick foul and two missed free throws by George Lynch gave Orlando one more chance with 0.6 seconds left, but Gordan Giricek's shot appeared to come just after the buzzer and missed anyway.

Cavs 102, Jazz 96, OT

Salt Lake City -- Carlos Boozer scored 10 of his 32 points in overtime after LeBron James left because of an ankle injury, and Cleveland rallied past the Jazz, the Cavaliers' first victory in Utah in more than 14 years. James scored 29 points before spraining his right ankle during a scramble for a loose ball. He was helped from the court, holding his right leg off of the floor with 12.1 seconds remaining in regulation and the Cavaliers down, 85-84.

Wizards 99, Sonics 84

Washington -- Larry Hughes scored 27 points and the Wizards shot a season-high 51 percent to win for only the third time in 15 games. Rookie Jarvis Hayes, back in the starting lineup after the latest shuffle by coach Eddie Jordan, scored 14 points and had a career-high 13 rebounds. Ray Allen scored 19 points to lead the Sonics, who were hurt by poor outside shooting as they fell to 0-2 on a four-game East Coast road trip. The four-game losing streak matches Seattle's season high.

Pacers 90, Nets 84

East Rutherford, N.J. -- Jermaine O'Neal had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Indiana held New Jersey to 29 second-half points in a matchup of division leaders. Al Harrington added 15 points and 12 rebounds and Ron Artest had 18 points and a big blocked shot as the Pacers overcame an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit in defeating the Nets and San Antonio Spurs -- the teams that met for the NBA title -- on consecutive nights. Reggie Miller, who scored 28 in the win over San Antonio, sealed the Pacers' 10th win in 11 games with four free throws and a steal in the final minute.

Hawks 75, Raptors 70

Atlanta -- Shareef Abdur-Rahim salvaged a poor-shooting night by hitting his last three shots to lead Atlanta. The Raptors played without leading scorer Vince Carter, who strained his right quadriceps in Thursday's victory over New Orleans. Abdur-Rahim connected on only five of his first 20 shots before hitting three in the final 2:34. He finished 8-of-23 and scored 20 points with 12 rebounds.

Grizzlies 91, 76ers 87

Philadelphia -- Mike Miller hit a running layup with 36.6 seconds remaining to lead Memphis over Philadelphia. Pau Gasol led the Grizzlies with 16 points. Lorenzen Wright and James Posey both had 14, while Shane Battier added 12. Wright led all rebounders with 11. Allen Iverson had 34 points and Glenn Robinson added 20 for Philadelphia. Iverson broke a 78-all tie with a pair of free throws.

Mavericks 108,

Trail Blazers 104

Portland, Ore. -- Michael Finley had 33 points and Dallas withstood the absence of guard Steve Nash and the ejection of coach Don Nelson to beat Portland. Dirk Nowitzki had 32 points and seven rebounds for Dallas, which won its fourth straight.

Lakers 91, Clippers 89

Los Angeles -- Gary Payton had 15 points and 15 assists, and Stanislav Medvedenko added 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Los Angeles Lakers over the Los Angeles Clippers. The win was the fourth in the last five games for the Lakers, who were without injured players Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone. Devean George and Derek Fisher added 11 points each for the Lakers.

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