HOUSTON, Nov. 19 (Ticker) -- Two days after a road victory against last season's best team, the Houston Rockets avoided a home letdown against one of this season's worst.

Cuttino Mobley led a balanced attack with 19 points and the Rockets held the reeling Cleveland Cavaliers without a basket for over eight minutes of the first quarter en route to a 97-80 victory.

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--> Jason Collier pumped in five of his season-high 11 points in an 11-3 first-quarter run that opened a 22-11 advantage. The Rockets never trailed thereafter.

Cleveland took its only lead, 6-4, on a layup by Bimbo Coles 1:22 into the game. It did not score again from the field until a bucket by rookie Carlos Boozer with 2:16 to go made it 22-13.

Trailing 45-38 at halftime, Cleveland tested Houston with a strong third quarter, cutting the deficit to 63-61 on Ricky Davis' 16-footer with 1:39 to go.

But Kenny Thomas made two free throws and, after back-to-back misses by Davis, Steve Francis hit a driving layup and Maurice Taylor dunked for a 69-61 lead with 10 seconds remaining.

"That happens every time we get close," said Cleveland's Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who finished with 24 points. "They took another run at us and we didn't answer. We have an eight-game losing streak but we have a lot of close games. We can't finish them."

Francis scored 18 points and Eddie Griffin added 17 and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who bested the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers Sunday.

"I think our offense is the result of whatever the defense gives us," Francis said. "I think we did a good job of moving the ball and finding the open guy. Tonight, guys were able to hit shots."

The Rockets built a double-digit lead in the final quarter that Cleveland whittled to 85-78 on Davis' 11-footer with 3:43 to go, but Houston scored 12 of the final 14 points to ice the win.

"It definitely makes it easier when we're all scoring," said Mobley, who was 6-of-8 from the floor in the final period. "I was only thinking about shooting if someone passed it out to me. I didn't have to force it."

"I thought we played very well, but they eventually wore us down," said Cavaliers coach John Lucas. "The game was closer than the score indicated. I was not pleased with the selfish play at the end of the game. It wasn't just one guy, it was several guys. But we're 2-10, and playing selfish just won't work."

Coming off a season-high 20-point performance Sunday, Rockets rookie Yao Ming collected nine points on 4-of-5 shooting to go along with six rebounds in 18 minutes. Yao has hit 21 of his last 23 shots.

Yao's teammates also were fairly accurate. Houston shot 51 percent (38-of-75) and held a commanding 48-27 advantage on the boards.

"They outhustled us, they did a good job of boxing out and they got some long rebounds. Sometimes those things happen," Ilgauskas said.

Davis finished with 19 points on 7-of-21 shooting for the Cavaliers, who shot 42 percent (31-of-74).

On Friday, Cleveland takes its six-game road losing streak into New Jersey, where it lost both games last season.