for this game

Yao, Rockets defeat Grizzlies

Oct 30, 2008 - 4:36 AM By Gene Duffy PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Houston Rockets guard Rafer Alston described Wednesday's season opener against the Memphis Grizzlies as "a nasty game." Ugly may have been more accurate.

Yao Ming had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Tracy McGrady scored 16 as the Rockets came away with an 82-71 victory over the Grizzlies at the Toyota Center.

The Rockets officially introduced their "Big Three" of Yao, McGrady and newcomer Ron Artest, who also scored 16 points. But the trio didn't resemble Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics.

"Everybody wants to see us put up 120," Alston said. "There's some things we've got to work on."

The Rockets shot only 37 percent (28-of-76) from the field and needed a 3-pointer from the right wing by Alston - only his second basket of the night - to finally put away the stubborn Grizzlies. Alston's basket gave Houston a 78-71 lead with 37 seconds to play.

"I stayed ready," said Alston, who finished 2-of-8. "It was a pretty off-night shooting early. I knew at some time (the Grizzlies) would come off me and someone would kick it out to me."

"We started off fine but got lulled into playing a very slow-paced game," Houston coach Rick Adelman said. "Offensively especially, we just had no activity and we have to play better than that. We just didn't make anything until the end."

Houston led by as many as 12 points early in the third quarter and never trailed in the game until early in the fourth. Rookie Darrell Arthur scored on a fast break for a 61-60 lead for Memphis with 10:42 left in the fourth.

The Rockets regained the lead for good on two free throws by Artest with 7:43 to play, but Memphis hung around within striking distance until Alston's basket.

"They got a lot of loose balls to keep themselves in the game," Adelman said. "I was disappointed we didn't rebound the way we should have."

Memphis won the battle of the boards, 49-45, with Arthur taking down 15 rebounds to go with his 11 points. Marc Gasol had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

"I was nervous starting off, then the jitters went away," Arthur said of coming off the bench to play 27 minutes. "I thought I played pretty good. Because of that, I got to play starter minutes."

Artest played his usual tough defense that included three steals, including one that led to the first basket of the game.

"I don't have to role-play," Artest said. "Unselfish is the best way to play. Just play to win.

"I was a little too excited to get out there and play - first game, the opener, new team."

Yao, who missed one-third of last year with a stress fracture in his foot, and McGrady - who had an offseason knee injury - held up, playing 38 and 35 minutes, respectively.

"I felt pretty good for the most part," McGrady said. "I have to fight through it. I was just glad to be out there with my guys.

"I'm actually glad this game was pretty close, so we won't get ahead of ourselves and believe that we have arrived. I'll take any win, but we still have a long way to go."

Rudy Gay led Memphis with 20 points, but shot just 9-of-22. O.J. Mayo, the rookie from Southern California, added 10 and made just 5-of-20 shots from the field.

"We took some big strides, but down the stretch we didn't execute," Gay said. "We will learn from this. It was a little sloppy."

The Grizzlies missed all 13 of their 3-point attempts.

"We got some good looks," Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "But 0-for-13 is not going to be typical of what this team is capable of. If a couple of those threes went in, we could have had a chance to win."








  • NBA
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MEMPHIS 18 19 20 14 71
    HOUSTON 26 17 15 24 82 FINAL

    HIGH SCORERS: MEM - RUDY GAY 20, MARC GASOL 12, DARRELL
    ARTHUR 11
    HOU - YAO MING 21, TRACY MCGRADY 16, RON
    ARTEST 16

    Oct 29 11:03 PM
  • 105
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 30 roots (Close Finish)

    Grizzlies 68, Rockets 71  4th - 3:00Oct 29 10:45 PM
  • 75
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Grizzlies 65, Rockets 68  4th - 6:00Oct 29 10:38 PM


  • NBA
    END 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MEMPHIS 18 19 20 57
    HOUSTON 26 17 15 58 END 3RD QTR
    HIGH SCORERS AFTER 3RD QUARTER
    MEM - RUDY GAY 18, MARC GASOL 11, O.J. MAYO 8
    HOU - YAO MING 15, RON ARTEST 12, LUIS SCOLA
    12

    Oct 29 10:22 PM
  • 60
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 45 roots

    Grizzlies 57, Rockets 58  End of 3rdOct 29 10:22 PM
  • 15
    roots
    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Grizzlies 49, Rockets 55  3rd - 2:45Oct 29 10:18 PM


  • NBA
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MEMPHIS 18 19 37
    HOUSTON 26 17 43 HALFTIME
    HIGH SCORERS AT HALFTIME
    MEM - RUDY GAY 10, O.J. MAYO 8, HAKIM WARRICK
    6
    HOU - RON ARTEST 10, YAO MING 10, TRACY
    MCGRADY 9

    Oct 29 9:40 PM
  • 10
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Grizzlies 26, Rockets 34  2nd - 6:00Oct 29 9:27 PM
  • 5
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Grizzlies 20, Rockets 29  2nd - 9:00Oct 29 9:19 PM


  • NBA
    END 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MEMPHIS 18 18
    HOUSTON 26 26 END 1ST QTR
    HIGH SCORERS AFTER 1ST QUARTER
    MEM - RUDY GAY 10, O.J. MAYO 4, MIKE CONLEY
    JR. 2
    HOU - YAO MING 8, RON ARTEST 7, TRACY MCGRADY
    5

    Oct 29 9:10 PM