NBA Game Summary - New Jersey at Houston
(Monday, March 10th)
Final Score: Houston 91, New Jersey 73
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Tracy McGrady scored 19 points, and the Rockets tied the third-longest winning streak in NBA history by capturing their franchise-record 19th in a row, a 91-73 thrashing of the New Jersey Nets.
Luis Scola and Rafer Alston each scored 12, while Steve Novak added 11 off the bench for the Rockets, who haven't lost since January 27 at home to Utah. The Rockets have also won 10 in a row by double figures -- tying an NBA record set by Washington in December 1946 and equaled by the Nets in the 2003-04 season.
"Defense wins ball games and that's what we're great at," McGrady said. "We didn't shoot the ball particularly well (45.9 percent) tonight and our defense bailed us out."
What's more incredible is the Rockets are 7-0 since it was learned Houston All-Star center Yao Ming will be out the remainder of the season with a stress fracture in his left foot.
Houston remained one game behind first-place San Antonio in the Southwest Division standings after the Spurs edged Denver Monday. The Rockets are also a half-game ahead of New Orleans in the division.
The Rockets are the first team since the 1999-2000 Los Angeles Lakers to win 19 straight contests. That Lakers squad won 19 in a row from February 4 - March 13, 2000. Milwaukee won 20 straight during the 1970-71 season, and the longest streak is 33, held also by the Lakers during the 1971-72 campaign.
The Rockets, who have also won 13 in a row at home, will visit the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday before hosting Charlotte on Friday and the Lakers on Sunday.
Houston, which has won 28 of its last 31 games, made half of its 20 three- point tries.
Vince Carter had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Nets, who wrapped up their five-game road trip with a sixth straight loss. Richard Jefferson had 12 points and Devin Harris 10 in defeat, as New Jersey shot 30.4 percent from the field and remained a half-game behind Atlanta for eighth in the East.
"We need to regroup and stay positive and hopefully we can get back on track," Carter said. "We have to rededicate ourselves for the last 20 games. I hope we can turn this around."
Jefferson started the game by canning a jumper, but the Rockets blasted back with the next 11 points and didn't trail the rest of the way. Alston's layup capped the burst, and the Rockets scored the final five of the period for a 22-15 advantage.
"We just struggled offensively," Jefferson said. "The first quarter we just didn't match their intensity and couldn't hit anything the first 12 minutes."
Both teams were off the mark early in the second quarter, but a 19-5 run by the Rockets moved them to a 41-22 cushion following a Mike Harris layup with 2:44 remaining in the half.
Shane Battier's three-pointer moved the Rockets to a 46-28 lead at the half, and just like early in the first quarter Houston expanded to a 51-28 lead following a McGrady jumper and a Battier three. A McGrady shot from beyond the arc moved the spread to 70-45 and it was 70-47 going into the fourth.
The Nets never challenged over the final 12 minutes with the Rockets expanding their lead to 27 early in the fourth following a free throw from Bobby Jackson for a 75-48 difference.
"We wanted to make big jump shots, shots under duress," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "We pretty much did that until the last couple minutes of the second quarter, but it's a game we had to get to keep the thing going. Now we'll go on the road and see if we can keep the streak going."
The Rockets have won four in a row and seven of eight in the series...Rockets forward Carl Landry had his right knee evaluated again Monday morning. Results of the medical examination confirmed that there is no major structural damage to the knee. Landry will continue undergoing daily rehabilitation treatment and will be evaluated on a daily basis by the team's medical staff. No timeline has been established for his return to action.
03/11 00:30:13 ET