for this game

Yao, McGrady dominate as Rockets rout Sixers

Mar 19, 2007 - 3:09 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming helped the Houston Rockets run away from the Philadelphia 76ers in record fashion.

McGrady and Yao combined for 45 points as the Rockets nearly set a franchise mark for victory margin in a 124-74 destruction of the 76ers.

The points were a season high for Houston and a season low for Philadelphia, which suffered its most lopsided home loss in history, eclipsing a 139-91 loss November 29, 1972 to the New York Knicks.

The Rockets outscored the 76ers, 54-8, in the paint and fell just short of the largest win in franchise history, a 139-87 rout of New Jersey on October 18, 1978.

"You have to be ready to play in the NBA," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "We're certainly not 50 points better than somebody but it was a good night for us and now we have to keep building and get better."

"I've never been a part of anything where we beat a team by fifty points," McGrady said. "We did a great job of shutting everything down as far as their offensive end. Our defense was superb tonight. In order for us to be great, that's how we have to play every night."

Houston (42-25) started the game on a 26-8 run, capped by McGrady's 3-pointer with 3:44 remaining in the first quarter. The Rockets held a 32-15 lead after one period.

"We just came out ready to play," McGrady said. "The shots went for us in the first quarter and we established our defense right away. We set the tone and we didn't look back.

"It all about executing. We're preparing for something special this year and we have a certain amount of game to prepare ourselves for the playoffs. It starts now. Everything that we needed to do in order for us to win this game, we did it."

It was 59-40 at halftime, and Houston began the third quarter with a 22-7 burst again capped by a 3-pointer by McGrady with 5:11 remaining that made 81-49.

"It's tough, but we've had a lot of tough things happen to us this season so this is not going to break us by any means," Sixers swingman Kyle Korver said. "It's a tough loss. There is no (doubt) about it.

"We just have to stay together as we have all season. We had a great crowd and we wanted to play well for them but it didn't happen, so we'll go back to the drawing board."

Yao had 24 points and 10 rebounds and McGrady added eight assists. Both superstars sat out the entire fourth quarter.

"Yao Ming is a monster," Korver said. "I've seen about 100 times and everytime I see him, I'm just like, 'Man, you are the biggest man in the world'. He's got a great touch. You really have to crowd him or else he can shot over top of you. ... He's just a very good player."

Chuck Hayes added 12 points and pulled down 13 boards for the Rockets, who outrebounded the 76ers, 54-36.

Korver scored 17 points for Philadelphia, which has dropped three of four since a seven-game winning streak. Leading scorer Andre Iguodala scored just six points on 2-of-10 shooting, his first single-digit game since January 4 at Memphis.

"We can go into the film and see the mistakes that we made but we can also learn a lot from them in some of the things that they do and take something from it," Iguodala said. "They're just a solid team. They have some veterans and we're pretty young and we (have) a lot learning to do."

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