NBA Game Summary - Houston at Cleveland
(Tuesday, February 19th)
Final Score: Houston 93, Cleveland 85
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Rafer Alston hit six three-pointers on the way to a 22-point night, as the Rockets began the post All-Star break with their ninth straight victory, 93-85 over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
This is the longest victory streak for Houston since winning nine in a row March 16-30, 1999. Houston also tied a franchise-record with its ninth straight road win, equaling the mark from the 1993-94 championship season.
Alston, who went 6-of-10 from beyond the arc, also had five rebounds and six assists. Yao Ming overcame a 3-for-17 shooting night, but had 16 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks for Houston, which has won 18 of its last 21 contests. Tracy McGrady had 17 points and eight assists for the Rockets, who also got 15 points and eight boards from Luis Scola.
"I have some unbelievable teammates because they understood that I was in a rhythm in this stretch of games," Alston said. "We have two superstars who draw so much attention that I was wide open. In years past, I have been inconsistent. Right now, I am knocking them down consistently during this stretch of wins and if I continue to do that, I'll give this team a big boost."
Fresh off his All-Star MVP appearance on Sunday in New Orleans in leading the East over the Western Conference, LeBron James tallied his fifth triple-double of the season with 26 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, but the Cavaliers suffered their third straight home defeat.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Larry Hughes each tallied 16 points for Cleveland, which has lost three of four overall and nine of 12 to the Rockets.
"They do a terrific job of what we call 'shrinking the floor.' It forces you to take jump shots, and when you've got a guy Yao's size that does a nice job playing in and out of the paint without getting into illegal defense, you don't get a terrific look from the three-point line," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. "You've got to give them credit because they came in and did what they were supposed to do defensively."
A three-pointer from James had the Cavaliers within 70-66 less than two minutes into the fourth quarter, but the Rockets came back with the next nine points to pull away for good. Alston banged in a three to start the flurry and Scola's three-point play capped it with 8:58 remaining.
Another Alston three widened the margin to 90-74 with 2:36 left before James hit consecutive long-distance shots, but it wasn't close to enough for the Cavs.
Cleveland, which struggled by shooting 38.8 percent from the field, scored the game's first six points and eight of the first 10. However, Houston rallied for the next eight and the visitors were in front 21-20 after 12 minutes.
Yao's jumper opened a 33-24 lead for Houston with five minutes left in the half and it was 42-36 at the break.
An Ilgauskas jumper tied the game at 46 with 8:12 left in the third, but the Cavs failed to go ahead again, instead falling behind 66-59 after three periods.
Houston's last 10-game winning streak came in the 1993-94 season, a 15-game surge, which tied a team record...The Rockets, who haven't lost since Jan. 27 against Utah and on the road since Jan. 2 to Boston, host Miami on Thursday...The Cavaliers play at Indiana on Wednesday.
02/20 01:24:10 ET