McGrady and Howard make short work of 76ersJan 30, 2007 - 6:46 AM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Tracy McGrady and Juwan Howard played so well for three quarters that they earned themselves a quarter off.
McGrady and Howard sparked the hot-shooting Rockets to their third straight win, an easy 105-84 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
McGrady finished with 25 points and did not play at all in the fourth quarter. He was at his most effective in the third quarter, scoring 15 points as the Rockets opened up an 89-51 lead.
"I thought our defense was pretty good," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "We're just trying to concentrate on playing good basketball with a good level of physical and mental energy, and I thought we did a good job of that tonight. I thought we started a little shaky in the third quarter with turnovers, but they gathered themselves and played very, very sound in the third quarter with the lead."
Philadelphia stayed close for a quarter, shooting 10-of-20 from the field, but Houston still led, 29-21, after one. The 76ers shot 24-of-68 over the final three quarters and were outscored, 58-30, in the second and third quarters combined.
"Their defense was much better than our offense, and they made a lot of easy shots," Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks said. "Their defense led to steals and layups. And layups after layups that led to open three-pointers. They definitely took us out of our offense and opened up the floor."
Howard scored 10 of his 20 points in the first quarter and he added 10 rebounds and six assists in three quarters of work.
One of the NBA's top defensive teams, Houston has not allowed more than 85 points in its current winning streak and improved to 12-5 without injured center Yao Ming.
"Sometimes you can have mental lapses, not bringing the type of energy we brought tonight, and play into their hands," McGrady said. "But we did a good job of coming out and treating it like it was Dallas out there and take it to them."
Andre Iguodala scored 19 points and Kyle Korver added 16 for Philadelphia, which has lost 12 of its last 15 games in Houston.
The Rockets shot 40-of-79 from the field and had a season-high 31 assists led by Howard and guard Rafer Alston, who added nine to go along with 12 points and three steals.
"When we're unselfish and we pass on target, I think we're going to shoot the ball well," Van Gundy said.
"Passing was contagious tonight in a positive manner," Howard said. "You have to give credit to our defense, which allowed us to get into a groove."
HOUSTON 105 FINAL
Jan 29 10:48 PM
HOUSTON 89 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 29 10:17 PM
HOUSTON 58 HALFTIME
Jan 29 9:35 PM
HOUSTON 29 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 29 9:03 PM
- Towns, Porzingis unanimously selected to All-Rookie 1st team May 19
- 76ers win NBA draft lottery, Lakers stay at No. 2, keep pick May 17
- Mutombo rejects lottery conspiracy after Twitter mistake May 17
- The Philadelphia 76ers win lottery; have No. 1 pick in upcoming NBA draft May 17
- NBA China to open basketball-themed Playzone in Shanghai May 17
- After lots of losing, 76ers hope to win big in NBA lottery May 17
- 76ers 1st NBA team to land jersey sponsorship with StubHub May 16
- Russia bans 24 basketball players in gambling case May 13
- 76ers add 2 executives to front office, promote key exec May 5
- Rockets must find coach in wake of first-round ouster Apr 29
- Warriors reach second round with MVP Stephen Curry sidelined Apr 28
- Warriors roll into second round of playoffs without Curry Apr 28