Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Sports NewsMayfield's Mutterings: Fall frenzy

Artest scores 15 in Rockets' debut

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[October 08, 2008]  HOUSTON (AP) -- Ron Artest scored 12 of his 15 points in the first quarter of his Houston debut and the Rockets beat the Memphis Grizzlies 96-93 in the preseason opener on Tuesday night.

Tracy McGrady sat out to rest his sore left knee. The Rockets star had offseason surgery to remove loose tissue in the knee and said last week that it was healing slower than expected.

Yao Ming had 10 points and nine rebounds in less than two quarters of action. Houston coach Rick Adelman has said he'll be careful with Yao during the preseason to try to keep the six-time All-Star fresh and injury-free.

Carl Landry, Yao's backup, had 18 points and nine rebounds.

Houston led 71-70 after three quarters, and Artest and Yao were done for the night. Artest played 24 minutes and Yao played just over 22.

Rudy Gay scored 14 for the Grizzlies and had a pair of highlight-reel dunks in the fourth quarter. Hakim Warrick led Memphis with 15, including a dunk that tied it at 92.

Artest got the loudest ovation of the night when he was introduced with the starting lineup. He deflected a pass and made a steal on the Grizzlies' first possession, but missed his first shot as a Rocket, a 3-point try from the top of the key. He sank a 3-pointer from the same spot a minute later.

Gay scored five points, including a driving dunk past Yao, to help Memphis build an early lead. Artest scored seven points, including another 3-pointer, during a 9-0 run that put the Rockets up 18-13.

Yao had a quiet start and came out with 1:44 left in the quarter. He had five rebounds, but only two points, in 10 minutes before he was replaced by Landry.

Artest also sat out the second quarter. Brent Barry, the Rockets' other big offseason acquisition, hit a 3-pointer with 10:12 left in the first half to tie the game at 27-all.

Adelman only used reserves in the second quarter and Houston took a 46-43 halftime lead. Warrick had nine points and O.J. Mayo had eight for Memphis in the first half.

Yao and Artest were back for the start of the third quarter.

[Associated Press; By CHRIS DUNCAN]

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.




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