Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sports NewsMayfield's Mutterings: A 'Wicked' weekend

McGrady leaves Rockets win with injury

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[November 18, 2008]  OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Luis Scola scored 23 points, Yao Ming added 19 points and 12 rebounds, and the Houston Rockets made a second-half surge without injured seven-time All-Star Tracy McGrady to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-89 on Monday night.

McGrady left the game in the opening minute of the second half after aggravating his surgically repaired left knee, but the Rockets were still able to mount a 14-3 run powered by Scola and Yao.

Ron Artest extended the lead to 77-58 when he stepped behind Kevin Durant's back to knock the ball away and set himself up for a right-handed dunk.

Oklahoma City came back with its own 14-3 run to get within 82-74 on Russell Westbrook's basket inside with 10:42 to play, but still ended up losing its eighth straight game.

Durant had 29 points to lead the Thunder, Jeff Green scored 16 and Westbrook added 14 points.

Artest added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Rockets, but was left clutching his right ankle after driving the lane in the final minute. He limped off the floor with help from team trainers to join McGrady on the bench.

McGrady, who had surgery in the offseason to remove loose bodies from the troublesome left knee, never went to the locker room and instead remained on the bench with a towel draped over his shoulders throughout the second half.

Houston still had enough firepower to handle the tumbling Thunder, who have lost eight in a row for only the 10th time in franchise history. That includes an 0-8 start and a 14-game losing streak later last season. They're now 1-10 this season.


The Rockets dominated in the paint, outscoring the Thunder 62-46, and shot 51 percent behind a 7-for-8 performance from Yao and 10-for-20 shooting by Scola, who finished one point shy of his career best.

Oklahoma City came out equally hot, and the game was tied 19 times in the first half. Neither team had a lead of more than two points in the second quarter until the Rockets put together a 10-3 run in the final 3 minutes to go up 56-50 at halftime.

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Houston never trailed again after pulling away with McGrady on the bench.

Notes: Oklahoma City F Desmond Mason missed the game with a sprained right elbow. Team doctors are expected to re-evaluate him in 10 days. ... Thunder coach P.J. Carlesimo said he considered Pete Newell, the former college and Olympic coach who died Monday at age 93 to be "a great friend and a great man." The two got to know each other through basketball camps decades ago and grew closer when Carlesimo coached the Golden State Warriors. ... Houston has won nine straight games in the series

[Associated Press; By JEFF LATZKE]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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