Yao, Rockets clamp down on HornetsNov 16, 2008 - 6:22 AM By Gene Duffey PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Yao Ming scored 21 points as the Houston Rockets returned from an unsuccessful road trip and beat the New Orleans Hornets, 91-82, on Saturday.
Luis Scola had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who went 1-4 on the road trip. Their lone win came in Los Angeles against the Clippers on November 7.
"Luis did a good job, but I think as a team you have to play five guys against them because Chris Paul is such a handful and he creates so much for them," Houston coach Rick Adelman said. "Aaron (Brooks) did a good containing him. It was crucial that Luis and Chuck (Hayes) be there to help."
Brooks thanked his teammates for the defensive help.
"I was trying to keep (Paul) out of the middle, limit some of their looks," he said. "We played great team defense. He's too tough for one man to guard."
In this one, Houston led nearly the entire game against New Orleans, trailing only once at 1-0. The Rockets led 70-53 at the end of three quarters. The Rockets limited Hornets star point guard Paul, who entered the game averaging 21.9 points, to 12 points on two field goals in 34 minutes.
"I don't think you ever slow down someone like Chris Paul," Adelman said. "He had a tough night shooting the ball. They had a tough night shooting the ball."
Paul shot 2-of-10 from the field, scoring his second basket with just 28 seconds to play. He did finish with his usual double-figure total in assists with 12. Paul's previous low this season was 19 points.
The Rockets used a 15-2 run in the second quarter to jump to a 48-36 edge at halftime. New Orleans went 5:41 without a point while Houston ran off 11 straight.
"We were up 18 points and then the lead was cut down to 11," Yao said. "We kept saying, remember (Friday's 77-75 loss at San Antonio). We didn't want that happen again."
Yao concluded the run with back-to-back technical free throws, the first for a three-second violation and the second against Hornets forward James Posey, a former Rocket.
McGrady scored nine points in the first and Scola's six propelled Houston to a 26-21 lead at the end of one period.
"It was pretty good, knowing that we let one go (Friday) night, to see how we were going to bounce back against a team in our conference and we came out sharp," McGrady said. "The defense was superb. I was disappointed in myself (at San Antonio) for not being aggressive and not being assertive in the offense.
"So tonight, I wanted to definitely make a statement and let the guys know that I'm here. I wanted to get off to a good start and we did."
NEW ORLEANS 82
HOUSTON 91 FINAL
Nov 15 10:49 PM
NEW ORLEANS 53
HOUSTON 70 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 15 10:16 PM
NEW ORLEANS 36
HOUSTON 48 HALFTIME
Nov 15 9:35 PM
NEW ORLEANS 21
HOUSTON 26 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 15 9:08 PM
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