NBA Game Summary - Houston at Seattle
(Thursday, December 15th)
Final Score: Houston 104, Seattle 98
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Tracy McGrady scored 24 of his 34 points in the second half to lead the surging Houston Rockets to a 104-98 victory over Seattle at KeyArena.
McGrady added eight assists and made 6-of-9 three-point attempts, while Yao Ming delivered 26 points and 10 rebounds as the Rockets extended their season- best win streak to five games and moved to 4-0 on their current six-game road swing.
"The first half I was not aggressive," McGrady remarked. "I was looking to get (his teammates) the ball because (the SuperSonics) were double-teaming me. In the second half, in order for us to win the game I had to step up and be more aggressive."
Juwan Howard contributed 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting in the triumph.
Ray Allen dropped in 30 points -- 18 of which came in the fourth quarter -- in the loss, the SuperSonics' third in a row and fourth in five games. Rashard Lewis finished with 15 points, but had only five after halftime.
Seattle shot only 42 percent from the field, compared to 52 percent for the Rockets, but was able to stay close by crashing the glass. The Sonics outrebounded Houston 43-32 for the night and had 20 offensive boards.
With the Rockets down 90-87, McGrady hit a key three-pointer with four minutes left to tie it. The All-Star made 1-of-2 foul shots shortly afterward and then fed Yao for an easy layup to send Houston ahead 93-90 with 2:46 left.
"My jumper was on," McGrady said. "When my jumper is falling, it's pretty tough to stop me."
A contested three by McGrady with 1:13 to go gave the Rockets a 98-94 lead, but Allen hit a short jumper on Seattle's next trip down the court to cut it to a pair. McGrady would miss a jumper with 34.7 seconds remaining, but Yao pulled down the rebound and was fouled. He calmly sank both shots from the stripe to make it a four-point game.
Allen missed the mark twice in the final minute, and Yao made four more free throws to seal the win.
Houston put together the game's first significant run early in the fourth quarter, an 8-0 burst that began with Seattle up by one. Moochie Norris completed a three-point play with 8:48 remaining to stake the visitors to a 81-76 advantage, then scored off a Sonics' turnover seconds later to extend it to seven.
However, Allen would score the game's next eight points and put Seattle up 84-83 with back-to-back threes, the last coming with 6:54 left to play.
Seattle led 51-48 at the conclusion of a tightly-contested first half in which the largest advantage by either team was six points.
Two Danny Fortson free throws snapped a 42-42 tie with 2:04 remaining before intermission. After McGrady misfired on the other end, Allen drove the lane and scored to give the Sonics a four-point cushion.
Houston would pull within 49-48 on Howard's layup in the waning moments of the half, but Lewis drew a foul from McGrady with five seconds on the clock and sank both attempts from the line.
Neither team was able to establish a significant edge in the third quarter as well. Reggie Evans, who poured in 10 of his 13 points during the period, put the Sonics up 64-60 with a short hook with 5:31 left, but a three-point play from Yao on the other end cut it to one. The Rockets would move ahead by a 67-66 count on a putback from Howard with 3:27 to go in the frame.
Houston took a 73-71 lead into the fourth quarter after Howard buried an outside jumper at the buzzer.
Seattle went winless on its three-game homestand. The Sonics will visit Portland on Friday...Seattle entered the night allowing a league-worst 105.1 points per game...The road team has won nine of the last 13 meetings in the series...Yao ended 12-of-15 from the free throw line.
12/16 02:03:02 ET