HOUSTON (AP) -- Yao Ming scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds
and Shane Battier added 17 points to lead the Houston Rockets to a
93-72 win over the undermanned San Antonio Spurs in a preseason
game on Sunday night.
Tracy McGrady added 11 points on 5-of-15 shooting and Rafer
Alston had 10 points and six assists.
Michael Finley and Matt Bonner scored 11 apiece to lead the
Spurs, who played without regulars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu
Ginobili and Bruce Bowen. The quartet didn't even travel to
Houston, but the remaining lineup built an early 20-10 lead.
Yao and McGrady missed nine of their first 13 shots and McGrady
shot an airball on a mid-range turnaround jumper.
Alston and Battier sank 3-pointers and Battier had two putbacks
during a 16-0 run that gave the Rockets the lead for good.
Finley's fadeaway with 9:05 left in the first half snapped a
7-minute scoreless drought for the Spurs.
Yao had a dunk and two layups late in the second quarter as the
Rockets built a 43-36 halftime lead. McGrady swished his first shot
after the break and Battier had a layup to extend the lead into
The Rockets sank 10 of 23 shots in the third quarter and took a
66-56 lead to the fourth.
Yao collided with Jackie Butler with 8:35 left and went down
hard. He got up holding his left elbow, but sank two free throws
and stayed in the game.
The Spurs got no closer than eight in the final quarter and
Steve Novak sank a pair of 3-pointers to push the lead to 90-72
just before the 2-minute mark.