NBA Game Summary - Houston at New Jersey
(Saturday, November 12th)
Final Score: Houston 99, New Jersey 91
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Tracy McGrady returned to the lineup, scoring a game-high 35 points, including 30 in the second half, as the Houston Rockets toppled the New Jersey Nets, 99-91, Continental Airlines Arena.
McGrady missed the Rockets' last three games due to back spasms. He played in the Rockets' season opener, a win over the Sacramento Kings. He was originally expected to miss up to three weeks of action.
McGrady also pulled down 10 rebounds and was 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, as Houston snapped a three-game skid. Yao Ming added 18 points and David Wesley netted a season-high 15 points.
Jason Kidd scored 20 points and had nine rebounds and five assists for the Nets, who have lost two straight games. Richard Jefferson added 17 points and Vince Carter chipped in with 16 points on 6-of-19 shooting.
Houston led for most of the game by shooting 46.5 percent from the floor and 62 percent (13-of-21) from the three-point line. There was only one lead change during the entire game.
The Rockets came out of the gates early led by Yao, who scored 10 points in the opening quarter. McGrady struggled early, missing all five of the shots he took. He did however contribute three rebounds and two assists, as Houston led 27-22 at the end of the first.
"I knew offensively in the first half I was going to struggle," said McGrady. "I was concentrating on getting everyone else involved."
The Rockets continued to remain in front in the second quarter led by a spark off the bench. Luther Head entered the game early in the quarter and drained three, three-point shots. He finished the quarter, 3-of-4 from long distance.
Houston would head into the half leading 48-37, thanks to shooting 44 percent from the field and 56 percent from the three-point line.
The Nets would storm back in the second half, outscoring the Rockets 27-22 in the third quarter. With 16 seconds left in the third, Jefferson made two free- throws pulling the Nets to within six points at 70-64 heading into the final quarter.
Kidd would drain a three-pointer with 8:28 remaining in the fourth quarter, pulling the Nets to within 77-74. On the next possession, McGrady came right back down the court, netting a three of his own, making the score 80-74 with around eight minutes remaining.
McGrady would once again put the Rockets up by double digits with 6:09 left to play after sinking another three-pointer, making the score 85-75.
The Nets were unable to mount a serious rally down the stretch.
Kidd understood that his team could only do so much once McGrady started getting into the flow of the game.
"He is 6'9". He can shoot over anybody, so what you can do is just hope," said Kidd.
Houston has won five of the last seven meetings...New Jersey kicked off a three-game homestand and coming into the game was 2-1 at home...Jason Collins left the game in the second half with a right lower leg muscle strain and did not return. He will be re-evaluated Sunday.
11/13 00:02:32 ET