Rockets get second straight road victory
Published: Friday, January 6, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 6, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
CLEVELAND - Tracy McGrady scored 34 points, Juwan Howard made two late jumpers and the getting-healthier-by-the day Houston Rockets got their second straight quality road win, 90-81 over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night.
McGrady surpassed 30 points for the fourth straight game as the Rockets, who have been decimated by injuries all season, followed up a win at Washington by handing the Cavaliers just their fourth loss in 17 home games.
LeBron James had 32 points, nine rebounds and five assists for Cleveland, but the Cavs fell to 1-1 since learning that guard Larry Hughes, the club's second-leading scorer, could miss two months with a broken finger.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 17 points for the Cavs, who didn't help themselves by going just 8-of-18 on free throws.
Still, Cleveland, which trailed by 17 in the third quarter, was within 84-78 when Howard dropped two straight jumpers to put the Rockets back in charge.
Howard finished with 16 points and Rafer Alston 18 for Houston, whose list of injured players includes Yao Ming, Derek Anderson and Bob Sura.
McGrady, who had a season-high tying 38 against the Wizards, had 23 in the first half and looked like he could score at will before the Cavaliers finally slowed him down in the second half.
But he hit several big shots, including a swooping layup with 2:19 left to put the Rockets ahead 84-78. It's the first time McGrady has scored at least 30 in four straight games for Houston.
The Cavaliers were just 2-of-19 on 3-pointers before James buried two in a span of 26 seconds late in the third quarter to pull Cleveland, which trailed by 17, within 71-60 after three.
Pacers team president Larry Bird has said he feels "betrayed" by Artest and general manager Donnie Walsh would just as soon get a trade done in a timely manner. Carlisle said he prefers to stay out of it and focus on his job, noting he is one of Artest's biggest supporters. Indiana came in having lost five of six.
Names reported as possibilities in a trade if the teams were to come to a deal are Golden State's Troy Murphy and Mickael Pietrus.
"Is it about Ron? If it's about Ron, I'm not answering," Pacers guard Stephen Jackson said.
Montgomery declined to discuss how Artest, Indiana's second-leading scorer at 19.4 points per game, might fit in with his team - which began the season with big hopes of ending a league-worst 11-year playoff drought.
"Picture me as Sgt. Schultz - I know nothinnnnngggg," Montgomery said sarcastically. "It's all speculation. You guys are just going to have to do your homework and dig around in the trash cans a little bit. We've got a good group of guys. They get along. There's certainly some maturation that has to take place, some growth in this group for us to get where we want to get. But it's a good group of guys that seems to enjoy each other."
Comments are currently unavailable on this article