NBA Game Summary - Houston at Washington
(Tuesday, January 8th)
Final Score: Houston 92, Washington 84
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Yao Ming scored 21 points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out four assists as the Houston Rockets beat the Washington Wizards, 92-84, at the Verizon Center.
Luther Head scored 24 points for Houston, which has defeated Washington five straight times.
Rafer Alston chipped in with 15 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, as the Rockets won their third straight contest.
The Rockets played their seventh straight game without star Tracy McGrady, who is due to be checked out by team medical staff on Thursday to determine when he can return from a left knee injury.
Antawn Jamison had 14 points and eight rebounds for Washington, which had its two-game win streak broken and has dropped six of its last 10 games.
Brendan Haywood and Nick Young each had 13 points, with Haywood adding six rebounds.
Houston didn't trail at any point after the 6:39 mark in the first quarter. Caron Butler's jam gave the Wizards a 13-12 lead, but the Rockets went ahead for good with an ensuing 13-1 spurt. Chuck Hayes' layup moved Houston in front. Head had the final seven points of the spurt, and his layup extended the Rockets to a 25-14 advantage with 4:02 left in the opening quarter.
"We felt like we were in control," Alston said. "We just needed to find a way to take care of the basketball which we didn't do tonight. We were able to withstand their run. When the game got close we were able to get baskets."
It was 31-24 going into the second, but Washington was within 45-43 following a pair of Jamison free throws. However, Yao connected on a hook shot with just under a minute remaining in the half to cap a 7-0 run. The surge saw Houston lead 52-43 heading into the locker room.
"We did some good things," Jamison said. "We really couldn't get anything going offensively. We had very few open shots. It was tough to get clean, good looks."
Houston had 26 points in the paint throughout the first half, while Washington only scored 12 points down-low.
A Stevenson free throw with 8:50 left in the third sparked a Washington 7-2 flurry, and his jumper two minutes later capped the run and brought the Wizards within 59-53.
Later in the period, Houston scored seven in a row, expanding to a 72-59 lead. Head hit a three-pointer and then put in a reverse layup, while Yao's hook shot culminated the burst.
Hayes connected on a layup to give the Rockets a 74-63 advantage going into the fourth. Head had 10 of his 24 points in the third, and Houston led by as many as 14 in the final quarter.
Three other Wizards managed double figures, Roger Mason, Butler and DeShawn Stevenson each had 12 points...Houston won three straight games for the first time since November 24-28...Houston will play at New York on Wednesday, while Washington will play at Atlanta on Friday.
01/08 22:55:36 ET