Raptors rout Rockets, 112-92
Published: Saturday, January 7, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 7, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
TORONTO - Getting a basketball shoved in his face by an ex-teammate made Mike James play even better.
James had 30 points, eight assists and seven rebounds against his former team, and the Toronto Raptors won their season-high fifth straight with a 112-92 rout of the Houston Rockets on Friday night.
James, acquired from Houston in a trade for Rafer Alston in October, stepped up his game after Rockets forward Juwan Howard was ejected for shoving him in the face with the basketball.
After James drove toward the basket and was fouled by Howard, the players exchanged words before Howard approached James and shoved the ball into his face. James was restrained by his teammates. Both received a technical, but Howard was also tossed.
"After that happened, something really clicked inside of me," James said. "The only person I fear in my life is my heavyweight father. Besides that, I fear no man."
Asked if he has a history with Howard, James said: "Actually, that's my boy. Well, I thought he was."
Howard didn't want to discuss it.
"Don't ask me about it," Howard said.
Kirk Snyder scored a career-high 22 points and David West added 19 points and 13 rebounds as host New Orleans recovered from the loss of point guard Chris Paul to beat Portland.
Paul grabbed his right thumb and walked to the bench after a basket by Portland's Juan Dixon that cut the Blazers' deficit to 53-41 just 36 seconds into the second half. Paul is expected to miss at least two weeks with a torn ligament in his right thumb.
Tony Parker scored 23 points and host San Antonio reversed its poor foul shooting in the final quarter to beat Minnesota.
The Spurs were 4-for-11 at the line in the first three quarters, but shot 7-for-8 in the final period. Manu Ginobili made all four of his free throws in the final 25 seconds and finished with 21 points.
Pau Gasol scored 27 points and matched his career high with 18 rebounds to help host Memphis beat Utah, snapping the Jazz's five-game winning streak.
Gasol also had seven assists and four blocks as Memphis won its fifth straight. Eddie Jones, Bobby Jackson and former Gator Mike Miller had 13 points apiece, while Shane Batter scored 12 before fouling out midway through the fourth.
Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince each scored 21 points, leading host Detroit over Seattle for its 11th victory in 12 games.
Detroit is an NBA-best 26-4, a record that trails the league's best 30-game mark by one win. Five teams started 27-3, including the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who won a league-record 72 games.
Al Harrington had 28 points and eight rebounds and visiting Atlanta beat Boston to snap a four-game losing streak.
Joe Johnson, who finished with 20 points, hit a jumper with 1:12 left to give Atlanta a 100-98 lead. Johnson then blocked a Paul Pierce layup the next time down the floor and made a key free throw with 19.2 seconds left to secure the win for the Hawks.
Chris Duhon scored 13 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, and visiting Chicago snapped its eight-game losing streak by beating Milwaukee.
The Bulls put seven players in double figures against the Bucks, who never found their rhythm despite 25 points from Michael Redd.
Rookie center Channing Frye matched his season high with 30 points, including 11 during a decisive 15-4 run in the third quarter, and host New York beat Washington.
Stephon Marbury had 16 points and 11 assists, and Nate Robinson added 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists as New York won consecutive games for just the second time this season - the first time at home.
High-scoring guard Larry Hughes underwent surgery at the Cleveland Clinic to repair his broken right middle finger.
The oft-injured Hughes is expected to miss eight weeks.
Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison scored 22 points apiece to lead Washington, which has lost four straight since a three-game winning streak. Caron Butler added 16 points for the Wizards.
Arenas, coming off back-to-back games with at least 40 points, had 16 in the first quarter.
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