NBA Game Summary - Orlando at Houston
(Monday, January 24th)
Final Score: Houston 89, Orlando 78
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Yao Ming finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Houston Rockets downed the Orlando Magic, 89-78, at the Toyota Center.
Jon Barry added a season-high 19 points for the Rockets, while Bob Sura collected 15 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. David Wesley and Juwan Howard added 10 points apiece as Houston won its third straight contest.
The Rockets were without guard Tracy McGrady, who missed Monday's game due to a medical emergency in his family. McGrady had spent the previous four seasons in Orlando before being traded in a six-player deal in the offseason that sent Steve Francis to the Magic.
"We're playing well and hopefully we can keep it rolling," Sura said. "We've got a deep team, and obviously with Tracy not being here tonight we still feel like we can play anybody even without our best player."
Meanwhile, Francis returned to Houston for the first time since the trade and finished with a game-high 23 points to go with 10 rebounds and seven assists. Francis played the first five seasons of his NBA career with the Rockets.
Jameer Nelson added 12 points off the bench for the Magic, who lost for just the second time in five games. Kelvin Cato added 11 points in the loss, while Grant Hill notched 10.
The Magic opened up a 7-4 lead early in the first quarter, but Houston closed the period with a 20-8 burst to grab a 24-15 lead after one period. The huge run, which featured eight points from Yao, would give the Rockets the lead for good.
Houston kept adding to its cushion in the second quarter, as it outscored the Magic 24-12 in the period to take a 48-27 edge into the locker room. Yao had a big first half for the Rockets, as he recorded 16 points and six rebounds.
The Magic began to cut into the lead in the third quarter, but still trailed 67-51 after 36 minutes of play.
Orlando would make it an even closer affair with a 12-5 run to begin the fourth quarter. Francis had six points during the stretch, including consecutive jumpers to cap the spurt and make it a 72-63 game with 6:56 left. That was the closest the game had been since it was 28-19 early in the second quarter.
A layup by Nelson would make the game even tighter, but Barry's three-pointer with 5:37 left pushed Houston's lead back to double digits at 75-65. The Magic would never get closer than seven the rest of the way.
The Magic's 27 points in the first 12 minutes of the game set a new franchise low for points in the opening half. The previous record of 29 was set on November 22, 2002...The Rockets, who won't face the Magic again this season, have won six straight over Orlando...Wesley set a season-high with four steals, while Sura's 11 boards equaled his best total of the year...Neither team shot well from three-point range. The Magic made just 1-of-8 from beyond the arc, while Houston hit 3-of-14 attempts...The Rockets were 22-of-28 (79 percent) from the foul line, while Orlando made 11-of-16 (69 percent) from the stripe.
01/25 01:39:12 ET