ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 8 (Ticker) --
The Magic got their first look
at rookie Yao Ming
. The Houston Rockets got their first victory
in Orlando in over 11 years.
NBA TV highlights from|
Yao torched the Magic for 17 of his 23 points in the first half
and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Rockets hit 25-of-26 free throws
and snapped an 11-game losing streak in Orlando with a 91-81
collected 16 points and seven rebounds and Houston
held the Magic to 36 percent (31-of-87) from the field in its
first regular-season road victory against the Magic since
December 22, 1991.
"The last time we won here, Snoop Dogg was still a puppy,"
Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich joked.
Yao - who was 11 when Houston last won in Orlando - was
instrumental as the Rockets took the lead for good in the second
quarter, scoring eight points to pace a 15-2 run that gave
Houston a 49-39 halftime
"Once (Yao) gets some games under his belt and gets comfortable
with the game, he's going to be unbelievable," Magic swingman
McGrady, the NBA's leading scorer, netted 27 points on 10-of-26
shooting for the Magic, who overcame a 14-point deficit to beat
New York on Monday but failed to make a second-half run against
"Shots that you take all year, they just weren't falling, for me
or anybody," McGrady said. "I think if we hit shots, we win
the game easy."
Orlando's Mike Miller
made just 3-of-17 shots, missing his last
13 attempts. The Magic has lost three of their last four games.
"I thought we did a good job getting our hands in their faces,"
Francis said. "We made them play both ends of the court."
Orlando's Grant Hill
missed his sixth straight contest with a
sore left ankle.
The Rockets were sloppy with the ball, committing 20 turnovers
to Orlando's eight. They made up for it by outrebounding the
Magic by a 52-34 margin and blocking nine shots.
"Rebounding is the key to victory," Yao said.
Trailing 37-34 after Darrell Armstrong's
3-pointer with 3:59
left in the first half, Houston stormed into the lead on two
baskets and two free throws by Yao.
After McGrady hit a jumper, Yao countered with another basket
before Cuttino Mobley
hit two straight buckets and Moochie
canned a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left in the half.
Mobley had 14 points and nine boards, Eddie Griffin
nine and four blocks off the bench and Glen Rice
chipped in 10
points for Houston, which shot 44 percent (32-of-72) from the
"Eddie was a man possessed," Tomjanovich said.
Yao, second in the NBA in shooting at 51 percent, made 8-of-14
from the floor.
"Yao Ming, I tell you what, thank God he is on our team," Rice
said. "This guy has a tremendous amount of skill, both
offensively and defensively."
The Magic got as close as 55-49 in the third period when Pat
hit a 3-pointer with 8:15 to go, but the Rockets used a
12-4 run to pull away.
Francis scored 12 points in the third period, including six in
The Rockets hit their first 20 free throws until Maurice Taylor
missed the first of two with 5:43 left.