NBA Game Summary - Sacramento at Houston
(Wednesday, February 11th)
Final Score: Houston 94, Sacramento 82
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Yao Ming tallied game-bests of 24 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Houston Rockets, minus Tracy McGrady, in a 94-82 rout of the hapless Sacramento Kings.
McGrady sat out after getting an MRI on his sore left knee earlier Wednesday. The procedure showed no new damage, but McGrady will go for a second opinion on the ailing knee later this week.
Ron Artest and Luis Scola scored 19 points apiece for the Rockets, who have alternated wins and losses for the past five tilts and, at 32-21, sit percentage points behind Dallas for second place in the Southwest Division. Houston has no more games before the All-Star break, while the Mavs host the Celtics on Thursday.
Rafer Alston set a season high with 13 assists, but shot only 2-for-10 from the field to end with five points in the Rockets' win.
Kevin Martin notched 18 points for the free-falling Kings, who have lost five in a row and 13 of 14 overall. Sacramento sits at the bottom of the Pacific Division with an 11-43 mark, which is the worst record in the NBA.
Bobby Jackson and Jason Thompson scored 15 and 14, respectively, while Spencer Hawes donated 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
The Kings led 25-22 after the first quarter but fell behind 39-35 heading into the intermission.
A pair of free throws from Artest sparked a 25-8 Rockets run in the third quarter that gave Houston control. Yao had 11 points in the surge and Scola closed it out with a pair of foul shots to give the home team a 67-45 lead with 4:03 showing on the clock.
"He's (Yao) seven-foot-six, 300-plus pounds and as skilled as they come," said Hawes. "He's a tough matchup any way you slice it."
Houston outscored Sacramento 35-21 in the third en route to a 74-56 cushion heading into the final 12 minutes.
"We really focused on our defense and we started moving the ball on the offensive end," said Artest. "We were able to really pick it up in the third quarter."
The Rockets' lead hovered around 20 points throughout the fourth until the Kings tightened the game over the final five minutes.
Sacramento scored 31 points over the second and third quarters...Scola also grabbed 11 rebounds...Houston tied a season-high with 22 turnovers...The Kings are 3-26 on the road...The Kings continue to toil without center Brad Miller, who is out with a strained left hip flexor. Meanwhile, forward Mikki Moore returned to Sacramento for personal reasons after attending the team's shootaround Tuesday morning. Although the Kings wouldn't confirm anything, Moore is expecting a baby soon and may have left to attend to his pregnant fiancee...The Rockets opened a six-game homestand Wednesday and will finish their residency with bouts against New Jersey, Dallas, Charlotte, Portland and Cleveland after the All-Star break...Houston, which is 19-6 at home, has won four of its past five meetings with the Kings, including a 107-96 win in Houston on December 19.
02/12 00:15:17 ET