Rockets’ Late Boost Makes Difference
Houston 94, Minnesota 89
MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 15 (Ticker) -- Tracy McGrady played like a superstar down the stretch.
McGrady scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter as the Houston Rockets bounced back for a 94-89 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"The whole time they were throwing defenses at me," said McGrady, who made 13-of-13 free throws. "In the second half, I was going quicker and trying to avoid the double team and it paid off for me."
McGrady, who added eight rebounds, came up huge on two consecutive plays. After finding Rafer Alston for an easy layup, he stole the ball at midcourt and found Alston for a leak-out layup, pushing the advantage to 89-84 with 1:38 left.
"I was coming up short on steals all night," McGrady said. "I read it perfectly and got into the passing lane and made the play on the end. It is great to do it on the defensive end and convert it into two points."
Yao Ming had 13 points and seven rebounds while Alston scored 13 points for the Rockets, who won despite making just 1-of-10 3-pointers. Houston improved to 2-2 on its five-game road trip.
"I am going to have to continue to get in the gym and work on my jumper," Alston said. "Fortunately in the second half, I was able to get some steals and make some easy baskets."
Kevin Garnett scored 25 points and Wally Szczerbiak added 12 on 5-of-14 shooting for Minnesota, which shot a disappointing 3-of-20 from the arc. The Timberwolves committed eight of their 10 turnovers in the second half.
"We are not there yet," Garnett said. "We are all missing shots. This is a team effort and we will be there and we will find our rhythm."
"Our offense is lagging behind our defense, but I believe that our offense will catch up," Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey said. "We have shooters who have a history of being great shooters in Szczerbiak and (Troy) Hudson and I really believe they will come around."