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NBA Game Summary - Atlanta at Houston

(Tuesday, December 9th)

Final Score: Houston 92, Atlanta 84

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Yao Ming had 24 points and a season-high 19 rebounds, and Houston rallied with a huge run in the fourth quarter to beat the Atlanta Hawks, 92-84, at the Toyota Center.

Ron Artest had 19 points and nine rebounds for the Rockets, who have won three of their last four overall and four straight at home. Luis Scola chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Rafer Alston totaled 12 points and six assists for Houston. Shane Battier scored 10 for the Rockets, who used a 22-2 spurt in the fourth quarter.

"Young teams like these guys (Hawks) are hungry and aggressive," said Artest. "They controlled the tempo of the second half, but our veteran leadership was what won it tonight with Yao and Rafer."

Joe Johnson had 22 points for the Hawks, who lost for the 10th straight time in Houston. All five Atlanta starters scored in double figures with Mike Bibby netting 15, Al Horford 14, Josh Smith 13 and Marvin Williams 11. Smith also had 11 rebounds.

"In the first quarter, we missed shots, but our defense kept us in the game," said Hawks coach Mike Woodson. "In the second and third quarters we found our rhythm and played all the way through the six-minute mark and fell apart. The last six minutes we thought it was over. They came back with their lineup and we had no answer for them."

Smith's three-pointer extended Atlanta's lead to 76-68 with nearly eight minutes remaining, but the Rockets then changed the entire complexion of the game with a huge run. Yao started it with a hook shot and gave the Rockets a 79-78 edge on a layup off a feed from Artest.

Alston's three-pointer from the left wing pushed the lead to 86-78, and Yao sank a hook shot and another jumper in the lane for a 90-78 margin with 1 1/2 minutes remaining.

Atlanta's only basket during the span came from Horford.

It was a game of runs, as the Rockets started with a 13-0 lead, capped by Alston's driving layup. Atlanta cut its deficit to 27-16 going to the second, but the Hawks shot just 33 percent in the opening 24 minutes and were behind, 46-38 at intermission.

The Hawks started the third quarter on a 15-3 rally, culminated by back-to- back three-balls from Williams and Bibby for a 53-49 edge. The visitors carried a 62-60 lead going to the final quarter.

Game Notes

Houston plays six of its next eight games on the road, starting Friday at Golden State...The Hawks, who lost at Dallas on Saturday, finish their three- game Texas swing on Wednesday in San Antonio before ending a four-game road trip in Miami on Friday...Smith was 5-of-19 from the field...The Hawks missed their first 12 shots of the game.

12/09 23:54:06 ET

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