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HOUSTON - The Houston Rockets have signed guards Bob Sura and Charlie Ward, General Manager Carroll Dawson announced today. Sura and Ward, who played together at Florida State from 1991-94, bring a combined 19 years of NBA experience to the Rockets backcourt.

"Charlie and Bob give us valuable veteran leadership in the backcourt," Dawson said. "We can rely on them to offer both effort and consistency. We are delighted to have hard-working role players like Charlie and Bob to provide support to our All-Star nucleus of Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady."

Sura has averaged 8.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 596 career games with Cleveland, Golden State, Detroit and Atlanta. The 6-5, 200-pound guard has posted a double-figure scoring average in three seasons, including a career-high 13.8 points per game with Cleveland during the 1999-2000 season. He started his NBA career in Cleveland, playing five seasons with the Cavaliers. Sura then played three seasons in Golden State before splitting last season between Detroit and Atlanta. He scored 7.5 points per game last season, but averaged 14.7 points with 8.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 27 games after being traded to the Hawks. Sura also scored a career-high 32 points at Orlando last Apr. 2 and posted his first two career triple-doubles in consecutive games last Apr. 9 at Chicago and Apr. 10 vs. Boston.

Ward has averaged 6.3 points, 4.1 assists and 1.24 steals in 616 career games with New York and San Antonio. The 6-2, 185-pound guard played his first nine-and-a-half seasons with the Knicks before finishing last season with the Spurs. In Knicks history, Ward ranks third with 539 3-pointers made, fifth with 697 steals and eighth with 2,281 assists. Ward played seven of his seasons with the Knicks for Jeff Van Gundy, serving as the team's starting point guard during their drive to the 1999 NBA Finals. He has advanced to the playoffs in seven of his 10 seasons. Last season the 10-year veteran averaged 6.0 points and 3.0 assists with New York and San Antonio, while ranking 10th in the NBA with a 3-point percentage of .408.

The Rockets roster now stands at 13 players: Reece Gaines, Adrian Griffin, Juwan Howard, Jim Jackson, Tyronn Lue, Tracy McGrady, Bostjan Nachbar, Eric Piatkowski, Bob Sura, Maurice Taylor, Charlie Ward, Clarence Weatherspoon and Yao Ming.