NBA Game Summary - Houston at New York
(Monday, November 20th)
Final Score: Houston 97, New York 90
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Yao Ming had 26 points, nine rebounds and blocked three shots to lead the Houston Rockets over the New York Knicks, 97-90, at Madison Square Garden.
Tracy McGrady, who spearheaded a key fourth-quarter, added 24 points for Houston, which has won six of eight. Rafer Alston tallied 17 points and Luther Head had 10 points for the Rockets, who have won five straight over the Knicks, including a series sweep this year.
Jamal Crawford had 25 points and Channing Frye tallied a season-best 22 points with nine boards for New York, which has dropped two straight. The starting backcourt of Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis combined for just 10 points and six assists for the Knicks, who continue to struggle at home.
New York is a lousy 1-5 at Madison Square Garden this season.
Houston led for most of the contest, forging ahead by 10 points, 57-47, early in the third quarter after a Juwan Howard bucket. New York, however, refused to go away and battled within 65-62 by the start of the fourth quarter.
The Knicks then scored six of the first nine points of the fourth and tied the game at 68-68 following a pair of Crawford free throws just 1 1/2 minutes into the frame.
Houston, though, didn't let the Knicks stick around for very long. With the game tied at 70-70, McGrady drained a three-pointer to start a 10-1 run that put the game away. McGrady had six points during the surge, which was capped by a Yao bucket with 4:40 left for an 80-71 lead.
"They had answers for everything we did," said New York's Quentin Richardson. "It's tough when there are two players like that on the other team."
New York kept it within striking distance, but never made it a one possession game down the stretch.
"We have learned a lot in the last couple of games," said Yao. "We have generated some cushions and allowed teams to get back. We have to learn that the fourth quarter is different. We have to concentrate on the plays and keep our defensive energy."
David Lee had 15 points and 12 boards for New York, which trailed 21-20 after one quarter and 48-45 at halftime.
Houston has won seven of the last eight against New York...The Knicks' last win at home versus the Rockets was on February 25, 2003...Marbury ended with three points...Francis had seven points.
11/20 23:33:49 ET