ATLANTA, Jan. 10 (Ticker) -- Jason Terry
scored a season-high 33 points as the Atlanta Hawks snapped a six-game losing streak with an 85-74 victory over the Houston Rockets.
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netted 23 points and Theo Ratliff
had 16 rebounds for the Hawks, who blew an 18-point third-quarter lead but regrouped to win for just the second time in eight games under new coach Terry Stotts.
Atlanta won without injured star Glenn Robinson, who sat out with an irritated right elbow.
Trailing 49-31, Houston reeled off 18 straight points and evened the game on a bucket by Cuttino Mobley with 4:11 left in the third quarter.
The game was close thereafter until the Hawks broke things open in the fourth period. After Mobley's three-pointer cut the deficit to 65-64, the Hawks went on an 11-2 run that was capped by Abdur-Rahim's basket with 5:16 left.
"We stayed with it," Terry said. "When they made their run, we just stuck with what worked for us. We didn't get away from
Blanketed by Ratliff, Houston rookie Yao Ming did not score until 90 seconds into the third quarter. He finished with nine points on 4-of-13 shooting and uncharacteristically picked up a technical foul for taunting Ratliff following a third-quarter dunk.
"He just yelled," said Ratliff, who blocked four shots. "I told Steve (Francis) that they are teaching him too much over there. He's going to yell in my face after he dunks the ball? That was funny, though, I got a kick out of that."
Yao, who shoots better than 55 percent from the field, missed his first seven shots.
"He's long and he's got a lot of skills around the basket. I guess I just played his strong side," Ratliff said.
"We just have to increase our mental toughness a lot," Yao said through an interpreter. "I just screamed as I was dunking. Not a word, just a shout."
The Hawks avoided being swept in the season series with the Rockets and improved to 6-8 against Western Conference clubs
with the win.
Eddie Griffin collected 20 points and a craeer-high 16 rebounds, Francis scored 18 points on 6-of-19 shooting and Mobley added 13 points for Houston, which shot just 35 percent (28-of-81) and hit only 13-of-27 free throws.
"There was a whole lot of physical play out there and I don't think we stepped up to it," Francis said.
The first half was a dismal one for the Rockets, as they shot just 28 percent (12-of-43) and 5-of-14 from the line.
Trailing 11-8, the Hawks took control with a 13-3 run capped by Dion Glover's three-pointer with 3:20 left. They held a 24-13 after one period and maintained a double-digit lead throughout most of the second quarter.
Yao's first bucket came 90 seconds into the third quarter and ignited the 18-0 run. Glen Rice had eight points while Yao and Mobley each had three in the burst.