NBA Game Summary - Sacramento at Houston
(Friday, December 19th)
Final Score: Houston 107, Sacramento 96
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Yao Ming had 30 points and Luis Scola chipped in 23 and 10 rebounds to lead the Houston Rockets past the Sacramento Kings, 107-96.
Tracy McGrady ended with 18 points and eight assists for the Rockets, who have won four of their last five games overall. Aaron Brooks gave 10 points and five helpers.
Ron Artest, who was acquired by the Rockets from the Kings on August 14 after two-plus seasons in Sacramento, scored nine points with four boards and three assists in facing his former team for the first time.
John Salmons had 26 points for the Kings, who have lost four of their last five games. Bobby Jackson tallied 19 points and Brad Miller 17 and 11 boards in the loss.
Houston's lead hovered around 11 before Carl Landry's layup made it 96-83 with about 5 1/2 minutes left.
After that, Sacramento embarked on a 9-2 run to get back in the game. Jackson had six of the points and Francisco Garcia added a trey to make it 98-92 with just over three minutes left.
The Kings failed to close within six points, though, as the Rockets held on for the victory.
The Kings jumped out to a 33-30 lead after the first quarter but the Rockets tied it up, 55-55, heading into the half.
"I was proud of our effort. Houston's obviously a very good basketball team," said Kings interim head coach Kenny Natt. "We've thrown some things at them on short notice...they were picking up on those things."
Down by three, Houston used a 9-0 run to take the lead. Scola sparked the surge with a jumper and McGrady had the next four points before Brooks' three-pointer closed it out for a 67-61 Rockets lead with about 7 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.
Buckets from Landry, Scola and Artest to close out the third gave the home team an 82-73 lead heading into the fourth.
"That's our job, to come in here and bring energy and play every position as hard as we can," said Scola. "If we do that, good things will happen."
Scola had a jumper and then a three-point play to give the Rockets an 87-76 lead early in the fourth.
Houston had more points in the paint, 50-28. Though Sacramento had more bench points, 31-18...Yao had 11 points in the fourth quarter. It was Scola's seventh double-double of the season...Kings guard Beno Udrih left the game in the fourth with a sore left hamstring...The Kings are 0-2 on a four-game road trip and boast a dismal 2-11 showing as the visitor...Houston is 9-3 as the host and has won six straight in Texas...Scola matched a season-high with 23 points...Landry tied a career-high with 11 rebounds...The two teams split a four-game season series last season but Houston has won six of its past eight overall versus the Kings.
12/20 00:03:43 ET