NBA Game Summary - Houston at Cleveland
(Wednesday, December 29th)
Final Score: Houston 98, Cleveland 87
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Tracy McGrady poured in 34 points with seven rebounds and five assists, and Houston snapped its five-game road losing streak with a 98-87 victory over Cleveland at Gund Arena.
Yao Ming added 20 points and seven boards for the Rockets, who rebounded from an embarrassing 115-87 loss to Milwaukee on Tuesday night to win for the third time in five games.
Drew Gooden scored 21 points with 12 rebounds to lead the Cavaliers, who played the entire second half without star guard LeBron James.
James left the game late in the first half with a peri-orbital contusion to the left side of his face, which he suffered in a collision with Houston center Dikembe Mutombo.
James, who will celebrate his 20th birthday on Thursday, is expected to undergo further evaluation. The Cavaliers have four days off until a game in Charlotte on January 3.
James was injured with 1:53 left in the first half while stepping into the lane to defend a pass. Mutombo's elbow inadvertently caught the reigning Rookie of the Year in the left eye, and James had to be helped off the court and to the locker room.
"When you lose your best player, its always tough," Cavs coach Paul Silas said of James, who finished with three points and five assists in 17 minutes. "We just didn't have enough fire power out there."
James' injury came at the tail end of a 15-6 Houston run, which gave the Rockets a 50-40 lead -- their largest of the first half.
Houston ended the half with a 50-43 lead behind 15 points from Yao and 12 from McGrady. The Rockets shot 52 percent in the first half to just 37 percent for Cleveland.
The Cavaliers never held a lead in the second half, although they used a 10-0 run to tie the game at 59-59 midway through the third quarter. But McGrady was hot in the period, scoring 10 points on 11 shots to help the Rockets to a 73-69 lead heading into the fourth.
Cleveland got as close as three points twice in the final 12 minutes, the last time coming on a Zydrunas Ilgauskas jumper that made it 88-85 with 4:31 remaining.
The Cavaliers were within four points at 91-87 on a Gooden hook shot with 2:20 left, but they wouldn't score again.
James is the highest-scoring teenager in NBA history, having posted 2,362 points before his 20th birthday. Kobe Bryant is second all-time with 1,759...Ilgauskas ended with 17 points and 11 rebounds...Houston has won three straight and eight of its last 12 matchups with the Cavaliers.
12/29 21:55:20 ET