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Yao, Scola help Rockets continue to roll

Mar 9, 2009 - 2:21 AM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Yao Ming collected 24 points and 17 rebounds as the Houston Rockets continued their success without Tracy McGrady by posting Sunday's 93-83 victory over the miserable Memphis Grizzlies.

Luis Scola collected 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets, who improved to 10-2 since their superstar swingman announced his intention to have season-ending knee surgery.

The interior combination sparked Houston to a 55-37 halftime lead it would not relinquish.

"We just wanted to send a message both to our opponent and ourselves that we need to play strong," Yao said. "We cannot play like we played the last two times against them in their house."

The Rockets have recovered from a hard-fought loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday with consecutive triumphs. Houston coach Rick Adelman said much of the credit goes to the big guys.

"I was pleased with the way the guys played, except for the last five minutes," the coach said. "We've got to finish the game out but, for the most part, we played a solid game. Yao and Luis really controlled the boards for us."

The Grizzlies snapped their eight-game losing streak with a rout over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, though they now have dropped two straight.

Memphis was beaten to a pulp in most aspects Sunday, shooting just 38 percent (32-of-84) from the field and getting outrebounded, 50-36, by Houston.

"It was a little bit of everything," Grizzlies center Marc Gasol said. "We were tired and we had poor shot selection. But those are excuses. The NBA is that way. You have to play through those adversities."

Ron Artest had 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Rockets, who continue to rise in the Western Conference standings. Houston (41-23) now holds the No. 3 spot behind the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.

Rudy Gay scored 21 points and Gasol added 18 for Memphis, which scored just 38 points in the second half.

"We had a lack of mental toughness tonight," Grizzlies guard Mike Conley said. "We let fatigue get to our heads too much. The ball wasn't moving very much tonight. The last few games, we've been really sharing the ball.

"We were all off balance and out of synch tonight."

  • 5
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

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