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Fully-loaded Rockets host Mavericks in home opener

Nov 4, 2006 - 3:27 PM Dallas (0-1) at Houston (0-1) 8:30 pm EST

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- The Houston Rockets were severely shorthanded in their four meetings with the Dallas Mavericks last season. The results were obvious.

With Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming back at full strength, the Rockets look for their first victory of the season Saturday when they host the Mavericks in their home opener.

McGrady missed all four encounters against Dallas last season with an injured back and Yao sat out two showdowns because of a toe injury. Dallas swept the four-game season series by an average of 16.5 points.

A two-time scoring champ, McGrady scored 25 points and had nine assists and Yao added 22 with nine rebounds for the Rockets in Wednesday's 107-97 loss to the Utah Jazz.

Coming off last season's 34-win campaign, Houston won only 15 home contests, its lowest total since capturing just nine in 1982-1983.

The reigning Western Conference champion, Dallas managed just 40 points in the second half of Thursday's 97-91 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, which snapped a seven-game winning streak in home openers.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Josh Howard added 20 for the Mavericks, who shot just 28 percent (6-of-21) from the floor in the fourth quarter.

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