Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/15

Game 1: Thursday, December 15th
Game 2: Friday, February 3rd
Game 3: Wednesday, March 29th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 4th

SuperSonics 77

(19-27, 8-14 away)

Rockets 100

(17-29, 6-15 home)

    Coverage: FSSW

    7:30 PM ET, February 3, 2006

    Toyota Center, Houston, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    SEA 24 19 14 2077
    HOU 21 27 25 27100

    Top Performers

    Sea: R. Lewis 21 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast

    Hou: T. McGrady 36 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    McGrady scores 36, Houston hammers Seattle at home

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady are finally healthy and the Houston Rockets are starting to resemble the team they were expected to be this season.

    McGrady scored 36 points and Yao added 24 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Rockets to a 100-77 win over the Seattle SuperSonics on Friday night.

    "We had great intensity from the start of the game," McGrady said. "If we consistently do that, we'll be all right."

    McGrady topped 30 points for the fifth time since missing five games with back spasms. Yao went 9-for-19 and blocked two shots in his third game since a 21-game layoff following toe surgery.

    The Rockets improved to 11-6 when their All-Star duo plays together.

    "It starts always with our two best guys and their energy level," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "McGrady obviously was very efficient tonight. Yao is a long way away from being in the type of shape he was in prior to his injury. But that he is in as good of shape as he is in is a direct result of his incredible dedication."

    McGrady also grabbed nine rebounds as the Rockets improved to 6-15 at home and won back-to-back games at the Toyota Center for the first time this season. Houston beat Milwaukee 86-84 on Wednesday.

    Van Gundy ranked Friday's performance as the Rockets' best at home all season.

    "It's our first home game that I can say we played well from start to finish," he said. "Hopefully, that's the start of something."

    Ray Allen scored 23 points and Rashard Lewis added 21 for Seattle, which committed 20 turnovers and got outrebounded 50-40.

    "It was a tough night," said Seattle coach Bob Hill. "We stunk it up."

    The game opened a four-game road trip for Seattle, which continues on Saturday in Dallas.

    "It's disappointing to start this road trip this way, especially to a team we thought we could beat," Lewis said. "We only have four games on this trip and I thought we gave this one away."

    McGrady had a quiet first quarter, going 3-for-7 for seven points. He sat out the first five minutes of the second, then scored seven points during an 11-4 run that gave Houston a 46-39 lead.

    McGrady finished with 16 points in the first half, helping the Rockets take a 48-43 lead. Houston coughed up three turnovers early in the third quarter and the Sonics pulled within 50-49.

    McGrady then scored nine straight points on a layup, two mid-range jumpers and a 3-pointer from the wing.

    "I wanted to come out in the third quarter and really impose my will on this game," McGrady said.

    He made a bad pass that led to a Sonics' fast break, but swished a 3-pointer from the top of the key a minute later to restore Houston's double-digit lead.

    McGrady went 4-of-7 from 3-point range.

    "He got hot and when his shots start to fall, he's not going to miss many," Lewis said of McGrady.

    Rookie Luther Head beat the third-quarter buzzer with a running 30-footer to give the Rockets a 73-57 lead heading to the fourth.

    McGrady made sure it lasted. He swished a 3-pointer from the top of the key 15 seconds into the quarter and sank another one with 10:35 left. He confidently nodded as he trotted down the court after the second basket, which put the Rockets up 81-57.

    "Defensively, we weren't that bad," Allen said, "but McGrady started hitting some shots to take them to the next level."

    Yao, meanwhile, missed seven of his first 10 shots, but finished strong, hitting all five of his attempts in the final quarter. Yao underwent surgery on Dec. 19 to remove an infection from his left big toe and is apparently still not fully healed.

    After the game, he dunked his left foot in a bucket of ice, pulled it out and winced as he pulled on a sock.

    "He's got a level of dedication to his profession that very few have," Van Gundy said.

    The Sonics, allowing an NBA-worst 107 points per game, gave up 100 points for the fifth straight game.

    "I feel like we weren't playing hard," said Lewis, who went to high school in Houston. "We were just kind of going through the motions." ^Notes:@ McGrady reached 30 points for the 14th time this season and the second time in Houston's last three home games. ... Rockets G Jon Barry sat out for the 14th consecutive game with a right calf strain. ... Seattle has only four home games in February. Friday's game is the first of 10 on the road for the Sonics this month. ... Members of the Memphis basketball team attended the game. The third-ranked Tigers play Rice on Saturday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 77 100
    FGM-FGA 31-78 (.397) 41-93 (.441)
    3PM-3PA 6-20 (.300) 6-18 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 9-16 (.563) 12-15 (.800)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-40 13-50
    Assists 12 24
    Turnovers 20 10
    Steals 7 13
    Blocks 8 6
    Fast Break Points 13 17
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 14 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 7 25

    Top Performers

    Rashard Lewis Lewis
    Points: 21
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Tracy McGrady McGrady
    Points: 36
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 1