Rocketsí Late Rally Shuts Down Kings
Houston 106, Sacramento 95
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 8 (Ticker) -- Coach Jeff Van Gundy finally got an offensive outburst from his Houston Rockets.
Tracy McGrady scored 28 points and Yao Ming added 21 as the Rockets snapped a four-game road losing streak with a 106-95 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
"It always feels good to get the first one of six games on the road," McGrady said. "We're executing, playing good defense and doing a great job taking care of the ball."
With Sacramento clinging to a three-point lead in the third quarter, Bonzi Wells scored nine consecutive points for the Kings, including an alley-oop dunk off a feed from Brad Miller, to highlight an 11-2 run and widen the margin to 67-54.
Houston chipped away and cut the deficit to 79-75 with a 14-4 burst bridging the third and fourth quarters. McGrady buried a 3-pointer at the end of the third and opened the fourth with an 18-foot jumper.
"(The Kings) were doing a great job of making shots in the first half and then got out to a 14-point lead," McGrady said. "But we stuck to our game plan and got some turnovers and things started turning our way."
After Mike Bibby made a 3-pointer for Sacramento, Stromile Swift led the Rockets on a 17-0 spurt with three baskets and an assist to Yao for a three-point play, and rookie Luther Head hit two 3-pointers for a 92-83 lead with 4:37 remaining.
"I thought we hung tougher than we have and that was good," Van Gundy said. "During that 17-0 run, we were definitely more intense. We were also getting on the floor for loose balls."
"It's about energy in the fourth quarter," said Swift, who hit 5-of-9 from the floor in 27 minutes off the bench. "We picked up our defense and made shots. We executed well down the stretch. That was the key to getting the win."
Bibby sank four foul shots and Miller made Sacramento's second basket of the fourth quarter with 2:19 left to bring the Kings within 96-91. The Rockets responded by sinking eight free throws down the stretch and Swift had a breakaway dunk with 17 seconds to go.
Derek Anderson scored 17 points, David Wesley added 12 and Swift 11 for Houston, which avenged a nine-point loss to Sacramento in the season opener.
The Kings made just 4-of-21 shots in the fourth quarter and committed five costly turnovers down the stretch to drop its fourth consecutive home game and fifth straight overall.
"Obviously, it's really disappointing," Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. "We played so well for three quarters and in the fourth, we just disintegrated."
Bibby scored 24 points and Miller and Wells added 21 each for the Kings, who fell to 6-7 at home.
"We stopped executing (in the fourth quarter)," Bibby said. "We started doing dumb stuff. We had a big lead but just didn't hold onto it."