for this game

McGrady, Rockets win 14th straight, rout Grizzlies

Mar 1, 2008 - 6:46 AM By Andrew Ferraro PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Tracy McGrady scored 25 points and Dikembe Mutombo filled in nicely for the injured Yao Ming as the pair led the Houston Rockets to their 14th straight victory, 116-95, over the lowly Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at Toyota Center.

The Rockets raced out to a big lead to extend the longest active winning streak in the NBA this season.

Houston can tie its franchise record Sunday with a win over the Denver Nuggets at Toyota Center. The Rockets also won 15 in a row in the 1993-94 season when they went on to win the first of two straight NBA championships.

The Rockets did not lose a game in February, something McGrady said his team was shooting for.

"It was a short-term goal of ours, and we accomplished that tonight," McGrady said. "We're having fun, we're moving more and we're trying hard to get more easy buckets in transition. I think everybody likes that."

McGrady shot 10-of-18 and Mutombo pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds to go along with four blocks.

"We are just a focused group right now," McGrady added. "Each game from this point on really counts."

"We really started off great tonight," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "We came out with a lot of energy ... very happy with the win."

The Rockets had a season-high 13 swats in the game and got 15 points each from rookie Luis Scola, Luther Head and rookie Carl Landry.

The Grizzlies, on the other hand, have lost seven straight, 14 of their last 16 and the final three games of their season series against the Rockets after posting a 105-99 win on November 13.

"When you are playing against a young team like (Memphis), you have to get off to a good start and let them know it is not going to be an easy night," Mutombo said. "You want to knock them right away, and I think that is what we did."

Rookie Javaris Crittenton scored a career-high 22 points and Kyle Lowry added 18 and six assists for Memphis. Rudy Gay struggled from the floor in the first half but recovered late to have a decent game for Memphis.

"They are a very good team with or without Yao," Gay said of the Rockets, who won the season series with the Grizzlies, 3-1. "Now that they've accepted that he is out, they should continue to grow. They definitely still have a chance of making the playoffs, but it will be tough because the West is so deep."

Gay finished with 11 points on 5-of-16 shooting for the Grizzlies.

The Rockets led 60-41 at the break and were led by McGrady's 13 points. Houston scored the first 14 points of the game and extended the lead to 27-5 with 5:03 remaining when McGrady stole the ball and cruised in for a layup.

The Grizzlies worked their way back in the game when the Rockets started missing a few shots and made it 43-32 when Lowry made 1-of-2 free throws with 6:25 left in the half.

Lowry led all players with 14 points at the break, and Crittenton added eight on 4-of-7 shooting for Memphis.

"I needed to bring energy off the bench and, once I got into a rhythm, I got going," Crittenton said. "I just started attacking the hole, and it opened possibilities for my teammates."

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