NBA Game Summary - Boston at Houston
(Tuesday, December 6th)
Final Score: Houston 91, Boston 73
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Tracy McGrady tied a season-high with 35 points, as the Houston Rockets beat the Boston Celtics, 91-73, at the Toyota Center.
McGrady, who was playing in just his third game since returning from a back injury, was coming off of rough outing against Memphis in which he shot just 5-of-15 from the floor and finished with 12 points. However, he was sharp Tuesday night, shooting 14-of-20 from the floor while adding seven rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals.
"I just got into a great rhythm tonight. The legs left good, the back felt good. Just overall, I felt fine physically and mentally," McGrady said. "It was great out there. My shot felt fine and I just had it rolling. I felt like my old self again and that is a great feeling to have."
Yao Ming finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists for Houston, which has won two of three since dropping seven straight. Five players reached double-digits for Houston, including Stromile Swift, who had 11 points off the bench.
Paul Pierce netted a team-high 20 points for the Celtics, who have dropped two of their last three contests. Al Jefferson recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Ricky Davis chipped in 10 points and six boards in defeat.
Delonte West added 12 points for the Celtics, who were coming off a win at New York on Sunday, but have yet to win back-to-back games this season.
"It was a terrible night. We started with guys missing shots. We had great looks and we had some defensive stops, but didn't make our shots. We couldn't get back into the game," Davis said.
With Boston in striking distance with about nine minutes to play, McGrady rose up and sank a long-range jumper that put the Rockets up 72-59.
Then, after the Rockets and Celtics traded baskets, McGrady nailed another jump shot from just inside the three-point line on the right side that extended the lead to 15 points with 7:26 remaining.
Three-pointers by Pierce and Davis sandwiched a Swift putback to pull Boston within 12 points.
The Rockets pulled down a pair of offensive rebounds on the other end of the floor and Ryan Bowen cashed in with a layup, to keep Boston at arm's length.
Luther Head followed with a three-pointer from the baseline with under five minutes to play that helped seal it.
After a tightly-contested first quarter that ended in an 18-18 tie, Houston exploded to outscore the Celtics 30-20 in the second frame and assume a 48-38 edge.
The third quarter reverted to a tight, low-scoring pace, and Houston emerged with an 11-point lead heading into the final frame.
Houston's Jon Barry left the game with a strained calf in the first half and did not return...Yao left the game briefly early in the fourth quarter with blood pouring from his face after Brian Scalabrine ran into him in the paint. He would return just minutes later...This was the second and final meeting of the season between the clubs. On November 13th, Raef LaFrentz tied his career high with 32 points, including 7-of-9 from three-point range, as the Celtics defeated the Rockets, 102-82, at the TD Banknorth Garden. LaFrentz had one point in this game...Houston has won eight of the last 11 meetings...Boston is 1-1 so far on its five-game road swing, while the Rockets ended their four-game homestand with a 2-2 record.
12/07 00:35:16 ET