NBA Game Summary - Cleveland at Houston
(Thursday, March 24th)
Final Score: Houston 99, Cleveland 80
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Tracy McGrady scored 31 points to lead the Houston Rockets to a 99-80 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Toyota Center.
Mike James added 15 points and Bob Sura tallied 12 points and 10 rebounds for Houston, which has won eight of its last 10 games. The Rockets remain in sixth place in the Western Conference playoff race.
Drew Gooden led the Cavaliers with 20 points and LeBron James collected 19 points and eight assists for Cleveland, which fell into a tie with idle Chicago for the fifth playoff spot in the East.
Sura's driving layup gave the Rockets a 10-point lead, 69-59, just before the end of the third quarter and Houston began to pull away at the start of the fourth.
Still ahead by 10 with under nine minutes remaining, Houston embarked on a 10-0 run to put the game away. Mike James led the charge with seven points and McGrady added a pair of layups, the second of which created an 85-65 advantage.
Several minutes later, Jon Barry's long jumper made it 90-72 and the Cavs never threatened again.
The contest was tied at 28 apiece after one quarter of play, but the second stanza saw the Rockets move ahead.
After Cleveland's Sasha Pavlovic connected on a baseline jumper for a 35-34 lead near the seven-minute mark, the Rockets went on a 14-4 spurt that ended the half and gave Houston a 48-39 lead at the break.
McGrady was outstanding, contributing nine of the 14 points and James added a jumper before foul shots by Sura and Barry concluded the first-half scoring.
Cleveland has dropped four of its last five overall...This was the second game for the Cavs under interim head coach Brendan Malone, who took over for the fired Paul Silas and is now 1-1...Cleveland has now lost nine straight on the road...Houston allowed under 100 points for the 16th time in its last 19 contests...The Rockets have won four straight over Cleveland and shot 39 percent (9-for-23) from beyond the arc.
03/24 23:29:28 ET