NBA Game Summary - Atlanta at Houston
(Wednesday, December 15th)
Final Score: Houston 92, Atlanta 69
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Tracy McGrady scored a game-high 25 points and added six rebounds to lead Houston over Atlanta, 92-69, at the Toyota Center.
Yao Ming tallied 23 points and eight boards for the Rockets, who bounced back from their worst loss of the season. Houston began a six-game homestand with three straight wins over Philadelphia, New Orleans and San Antonio, but dropped a 102-78 contest against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.
"We are only 6-6 at home, that's not good," Yao said. "Somebody had to take control of the game because we've got to improve at home."
Al Harrington netted 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Hawks, who dropped their third straight outing. Atlanta, 2-8 on the road, will return home to host Portland on Friday.
The Hawks turned the ball over 23 times and only shot 34 percent from the field.
The game was knotted at six in the early going, but the Rockets responded with a 14-2 run and they led the rest of the way. Juwan Howard capped off the burst on a bucket with less than four minutes to play in the first quarter to put his squad ahead, 20-8.
Houston led 24-17 after the opening 12 minutes and led by as many as 10 points in the second quarter. But in the second frame, Hawks put together a 13-6 spurt to get within three. Jason Collier completed the run on a basket under the two-minute mark to make it a 39-36 affair, but Atlanta still trailed 41-36 at the intermission.
In the third, the Houston defense shined with its best effort all season. The 11 points allowed in the frame, was the least that the Rockets yielded in any quarter this year and Houston took a 62-47 advantage into the final 12 minutes.
"The second half was good," said Houston head coach Jeff Van Gundy. "We all know that (Atlanta) played an overtime game last night so that had a lot to do with it. Particularly the first half, they were bad and we had very little to do with it. The second half, I thought we played much harder and I thought (Bob) Sura started with some ball pressure, so I thought that was better."
Houston led by double digits the entire fourth, pushing its lead to as many as 26 at 90-64 with just 1:55 to play.
Atlanta defeated Houston, 88-84, at Philips Arena last month to snap a two- game series losing streak. The Hawks, however, have lost in six straight trips to Houston...Before the game, the Rockets activated guard Tyronn Lue from the injured list. Meanwhile, the club placed Reece Gaines on the injured list with a foot injury.
12/16 00:37:06 ET