NBA Game Summary - Atlanta at Houston
(Tuesday, November 29th)
Final Score: Houston 100, Atlanta 85
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Tracy McGrady returned to the lineup and scored 25 points while grabbing nine rebounds, as the Houston Rockets defeated the Atlanta Hawks, 100-85, at the Toyota Center.
McGrady was in the starting five after missing five straight games with a strained back. He also missed three other games due to injury earlier this year and the Rockets were 0-8 without his services.
Yao Ming posted 25 points and had 12 rebounds for the Rockets, who put an end to a seven-game losing streak. Juwan Howard and Luther Head each chipped in 12 points in the win.
"Everyone knows (McGrady) is a super scorer," said Yao. "But he�s also a great passer. Today you could tell he wasn't 100 percent, but he�s getting better and better. (McGrady) makes the rest of the team score so much easier."
Joe Johnson had 17 points and seven assists for the Hawks, who only have two wins on the season. Salim Stoudamire and Al Harrington each scored 14 points in defeat.
"(McGrady) makes a big difference," said Johnson. "He�s kind of their go-to guy. He made some key plays."
Houston opened the game with a 9-2 spurt with McGrady scoring six points during the stretch. McGrady finished the opening quarter with 12 points on 5- of-8 shooting from the floor leading the Rockets to a 26-22 advantage.
The home team went up 40-32 in the second period after Derek Anderson drove to the net and made a layup with 5:40 remaining.
The Hawks, though, outscored the Rockets 29-26 in the quarter and got within 52-51 at the half.
Houston opened the third quarter with a 12-4 run with Yao scoring six points in the paint. The quick start gave them a 64-55 advantage with 6:43 to play.
The Hawks managed to score only 15 points in the third period and were down 74-66 entering the final quarter of action.
"We were very selfish, especially in the second half," said Atlanta head coach Mike Woodson. "We got too selfish offensively and put so much pressure on us defensively. Once they got that cushion, we couldn't get back into it. You still have to set screens and execute the offense. You can't just go one-on- one."
In the final quarter, Yao converted a layup and the ensuing foul shot for a three-point play with 7:16 remaining and an 88-72 lead.
Stoudamire later hit two free-throws with 4:32 left to play to get the Hawks within 88-81, however, that is as close as Atlanta would get.
The Hawks scored only four points the rest of the way.
Houston head coach Jeff Van Gundy picked up his 100th career win with the Rockets...The Hawks are 1-7 on the road this year...The home team has won nine of the last 10 meetings in this series... Atlanta has dropped seven straight and 13 of its last 14 in Houston.
11/30 00:17:27 ET