Yao leads Rockets over shorthanded MavericksOct 19, 2007 - 3:05 AM By Gene Duffey PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Houston Rockets center Yao Ming appears to be adjusting quickly to new coach Rick Adelman's offense.
Yao scored 14 of his 19 points in the first quarter, shooting inside and out, to lead the Rockets to a 104-90 victory over the undermanned Dallas Mavericks in a preseason game on Thursday.
After playing strictly in the low post for former Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy, Yao is sometimes playing away from the basket for Adelman to take advantage of his passing and outside shooting.
Yao shot 7-of-8 from the field in the first quarter and finished the game 8-of-11, while adding five rebounds and two blocks.
Dallas did not start its regular lineup, with reigning MVP Dirk Nowitzki taking the night off and Josh Howard sitting out with a sore right leg. Jerry Stackhouse also missed the game with a stomach illness and Devean George was out with a stress reaction in his left foot.
The Mavericks instead started rookie Nick Fazekas along with veteran Eddie Jones at the forwards and Maurice Ager in the backcourt next to Devin Harris. The 6-7 Darvin Ham started at center.
Tracy McGrady, who sat out Houston's last game with a sore left knee, started Thursday and contributed eight points in 10 minutes - playing only in the first quarter.
Luis Scola, a free agent from Argentina trying to win the starting job at power forward, committed four fouls in his first six minutes for Houston.
The 6-9 Scola is competing with 6-6 Chuck Hayes for the position. The MVP of the FIBA Americas tournament this summer, Scola had four points and five rebounds in 23 minutes, while Hayes did not score in 18 minutes but took down seven rebounds and played his usual steady defense.
Mike James gave the Rockets' offense a lift with his shooting, scoring 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Bonzi Wells, trying to make a comeback from a terrible first season in Houston, added 11 points.
Burly Brandon Bass made the biggest impression for the Mavericks. Bass, who spent his first two years in the league with the New Orleans Hornets, scored 23 points and grabbed six rebounds in 17 minutes in the first half - making good use of his bulk inside.
The 6-8, 240-pound Bass collected 25 points and eight rebounds and Fazekas added 12 points for Dallas.
HOUSTON 104 FINAL
Oct 18 10:47 PM
END 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
DALLAS 16 31 27 74
HOUSTON 30 27 23 80 END 3RD QTR
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 3RD QUARTER
DAL - BRANDON BASS 25, JOSE BAREA 9, NICK
HOU - YAO MING 19, SHANE BATTIER 12, MIKE
Oct 18 10:20 PM
HOUSTON 57 HALFTIME
Oct 18 9:40 PM
HOUSTON 30 END, 1ST QTR
Oct 18 9:06 PM
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