NBA Game Summary - Miami at Houston
(Thursday, February 21st)
Final Score: Houston 112, Miami 100
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Tracy McGrady had 23 points and 10 assists and the somewhat shorthanded Houston Rockets held off the lowly Miami Heat, 112-100, for their 10th straight victory at the Toyota Center.
Yao Ming scored 21 points on a near perfect shooting night, grabbing nine rebounds while hitting 10 of his 11 field-goal attempts. Carl Landry provided a second-half spark with 19 points and Rafer Alston added 16 to go with his 11 assists for Houston, winner of 19 of its last 22.
"Every team needs a player that is going to come in and do the dirty work," said Landry. "I think that's my key role as a rookie. To just come in and play aggressive and feed off my teammates and get them pumped."
Houston hadn't pulled off a double-digit win streak since Hakeem Olajuwon and the 1993-94 eventual champions won its first 15 to open that season.
Luis Scola had 11 points and 10 boards and Shane Battier went for 12 and five for the Rockets, whose last setback came January 27, when they fell at home to Utah, 97-89.
Earlier Thursday, the Rockets tinkered with their roster by trading forward Bonzi Wells and guard Mike James to New Orleans as part of a three-team deal that brought them former Hornets guards Bobby Jackson and Adam Haluska, as well as the draft rights to forward Sergei Lishouk, formerly of the Grizzlies.
Houston also picked up hometown product and former Timberwolves swingman Gerald Green, of slam dunk contest fame, by sending Kirk Snyder to Minnesota.
Neither Jackson, Haluska nor Green was in uniform for the Rockets Thursday, and despite having just nine players at their disposal, they still managed to improve to 34-20 on the season and maintain their standing in the ultra- competitive Southwest Division.
"We didn't think about (the trades)," said McGrady. "We all know about the nature of this business -- it happens. We had a game to play. We had to be professional about it and go out and play the game, so we didn't think about it."
Dwyane Wade did all he could for the Heat, scoring 33 points and handing out 11 assists, but Miami made just 17 of its 27 free-throw attempts, and fell for the 10th straight time.
Shawn Marion had 18 points and 10 rebounds - but was just 4-for-11 at the line - and Mark Blount added 11 and eight for the Heat, losers of 25 of their last 26 overall.
Houston led 41-26 after one quarter, and pushed that advantage to 62-48 by halftime.
"We got off to a real bad start," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "They were really hyped up and really prepared to play. We made a good run but we were constantly climbing up a hill all game. Our guys played real hard the last three quarters."
Wade's three-point play with 8:38 to go in the third made it an 11-point game, 66-55. Less than a minute later, Marion's three trimmed the margin to eight, capping an 8-0 Heat run.
Miami couldn't pull any closer in the period, though, as Marion's free throw woes continued, and Houston took an 87-75 edge into the fourth quarter.
Wade hit Marion for a fastbreak alley-oop that made it a 91-83 game with just over nine minutes remaining. But McGrady found Landry for a dunk on the following Rockets possession, keying a 7-2 Houston spurt that had the lead back to 98-85 inside the seven-minute mark.
Battier drained a three to push the cushion to 104-90 ahead of the 4 1/2- minute mark, and the Heat never seriously threatened the rest of the way.
Houston's 41-point first quarter equaled a season high...Landry had 15 of his 19 points after halftime...Houston shot 53.8 percent as a team and outrebounded the Heat 42-34, and had 32 assists on 42 field goals...Miami is still five games from tying its worst losing streak of the season - a 15-gamer that stretched from December 25, 2007-January 24, 2008; the only Heat win of the calendar year came January 26, 98-96, over Indiana.
02/21 23:50:47 ET