CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- One week of smothering, record-setting
defense has left Tracy McGrady convinced that's what will carry the
McGrady scored 23 points, Yao Ming added 21 and the Rockets
allowed the fewest points in franchise history in a 92-62 victory
over Charlotte on Friday night.
Houston allowed one fewer point than it did a week ago in a win
over Cleveland and held the Bobcats to a franchise-worst 28 percent
"It's just shows what type of team we can be if we bring that
type of approach every night," McGrady said. "You just don't have
it offensively some nights. But from a defensive standpoint we can
definitely be great night in and night out."
But the bumbling Bobcats made it easy as McGrady and Yao, who
combined to shoot 10-for-40 in a loss to Minnesota on Wednesday
night, ended the suspense early.
McGrady was 6-of-8 in the first quarter to help the Rockets
build a 31-17 lead. Yao scored 12 points in the second period, when
the Rockets led by as many as 21.
Houston took a 33-point lead in the third quarter and McGrady
and Yao sat out much of the fourth, when the Rockets led by as many
"I was praying for one of those games where we didn't have to
play the fourth quarter," McGrady said. "I really felt good,
offensively and defensively."
Raymond Felton scored 16 points and was the only player in
double figures for the Bobcats, who committed 21 turnovers.
Charlotte shattered its previous low point total of 71 set against
Indiana in December 2004, during its inaugural season.
"We can't have one or two guys out there who are busting their
behind and the other 12 aren't doing anything," Felton said. "We
have to work harder on defense to create our offense. A team like
that, when you get down 20 points it's tough to come back."
Rookie Adam Morrison was the poster boy for Charlotte's
offensive woes. He was held to two points on 1-of-11 shooting.
"That's the worst game I've ever played in my life," said
Morrison, who in the past three games has eight points on 3-of-26
shooting. "It's difficult when the fans want me to shoot
23-footers with a guy in my face.
"But in the same respect it's good the fans are sticking by me.
Maybe if I were anywhere else I'd be getting booed."
But there were some boos for the Bobcats early as they missed 22
of their first 27 shots.
Morrison missed mid-range and long jumpers. Felton barely hit
the iron on consecutive shots. Emeka Okafor and Primoz Brezec
missed tip-ins. And that was when the Bobcats even got a shot off --
they had 11 first-half turnovers.
Charlotte didn't get its sixth field goal of the game until more
than 17 minutes had passed, and by then Houston had built a
The Bobcats weren't much better trying to contain Yao. Brezec
and Okafor each had two fouls less than five minutes into the game.
"Anytime you get two quick fouls it messes up your flow,"
Okafor said. "We never gave up. But every time we look at the
scoreboard it's 10 points, 20 points, 30 points, 40 points and back
to 30 points."
The Rockets led 52-31 at halftime, with the Bobcats shooting 25
percent -- one point off the worst one-half performance in team
"The only thing you hoped for (the players) was that it would
hurry up and get over," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said.
The Bobcats were without point guard Brevin Knight (strained
left calf), meaning Felton was the only true point guard, and
Charlotte could never get going against a team they've had success
"I think when we play energetic defensively we can be pretty
good," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "We did some good
things, but I think injuries had a little bit to do with it."
The Bobcats' previous worst shooting night was 32 percent
against Toronto last season. ... The Bobcats just avoided their
worst loss, which is a 32-point defeat at Philadelphia in March
2005. ... Knight said he'll be out until at least Wednesday's game
at Cleveland. ... Bobcats G Matt Carroll missed his second straight
game with a sprained right elbow. ... The Rockets improved to 8-1
against Eastern Conference teams. Charlotte is 1-7 against the
West. ... The Rockets outrebounded an opponent for the 15th time in