|Even without Yao Ming, Rockets set franchise record with 16th straight victory|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 05 March 2008 23:45|
With Yao gone for the season after injuring his foot, the Rockets keep on rolling. They set a franchise record with their 16th consecutive win Wednesday night, routing Indiana 117-99. The Rockets are 4-0 since the All-Star center was sidelined.
``It's all about confidence,'' said Tracy McGrady, who scored 25 points. ``We have great chemistry and guys know their roles here. We all are playing so well, we just can't really count on one guy.''
The Cleveland Cavaliers can - as long as it's LeBron James, who had 50 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in a 119-105 win at New York. The Madison Square Garden crowd even chanted ``MVP'' for the visitor.
``To get a standing ovation in the greatest basketball arena in the world, it was a dream come true for me,'' James said. ``It's one of the best things that ever happened to me.''
Just as adding Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen is one of the best things to occur in Boston in years. The Celtics became the first postseason qualifier when they beat Detroit 909-78 behind a season-high 31 points from Garnett.
``All these games count,'' Garnett said. ``We are trying to get home-court advantage. ... All these games are huge for us.''
Elsewhere, it was: Denver 126, Phoenix 111; New Orleans 114, Atlanta 101; Utah 105, Minnesota 76; Orlando 122, Washington 92; Charlotte 118, Golden State 109; Toronto 108, Miami 83; Memphis 100, New Jersey 93; Milwaukee 118, Seattle 106; and the Los Angeles Clippers 116, Sacramento 109 in double overtime.
Rockets 117, Pacers 99
At Houston, the Rockets have won 20 of their last 21, and own the longest win streak in the NBA this season. This was Houston's seventh straight win by at least 10 points, extending a franchise record.
Houston's last 15-game wining streak was in the Rockets championship season of 1993-94.
``It's great to have your name down in history,'' Rafer Alston said. ``We are having some great regular-season success right now, but we know the big picture is getting it done in the postseason. You enjoy it for the moment, but you have to continue to prepare for every game.''
All but two of McGrady's points came in the first half and he had six rebounds and five assists. Alston added 21 points and had seven assists for the Rockets.
Cavaliers 119, Knicks 105
James shot 16-of-30 from the field, including 7-of-13 from 3-point range, in his second 50-point game this season. One fan in a Cavaliers jersey ran onto the floor toward the Cleveland bench before being turned away by security.
The NBA's scoring leader scored 45 points in a victory over the Knicks in Cleveland on Nov. 2. He fell two points shy of Kobe Bryant, who had a 52-point game on Sunday against Dallas, the highest in the league this season.
Jamal Crawford scored 25 points, Nate Robinson added 24 and Eddy Curry had 20 for the Knicks, who dropped their fourth in a row.
Celtics 90, Pistons 78
Host Boston won its sixth consecutive game and took a four-game lead over Detroit in the Eastern Conference.
Kendrick Perkins had a career-high 20 rebounds to go with his 10 points for the Celtics.
Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups each had 23 points for Detroit.
Nuggets 126, Suns 113
At Denver, Carmelo Anthony had 30 points and 13 rebounds and the Nuggets pulled within one game of Golden State for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Allen Iverson scored 31 points to lead the Nuggets and reserve J.R. Smith added six 3-pointers and 20 points.
Amare Stoudemire led Phoenix with 22 points, and Shaquille O'Neal had 18 rebounds and 12 points.
Hornets 116, Hawks 101
Chris Paul had 23 points and 18 assists, and New Orleans tied a franchise record with 15 3-pointers in a home victory.
Peja Stojakovic made six 3-pointers and led all scorers with 29 points to help the Hornets to their fourth win in five games.
Joe Johnson scored 24 points and Mike Bibby 21 for Atlanta.
Jazz 105, Timberwolves 76
Deron Williams had 21 points and 11 assists and Utah won its 17th straight home game. Utah improved to 26-3 at home and is two wins from tying the team record for consecutive home victories.
Carlos Boozer had 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Jazz. Randy Foye scored 18 for the Timberwolves.
Magic 122, Wizards 92
At Washington, Dwight Howard had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Orlando stretched its Southeast Division lead to 9 1/2 games over the Wizards in winning their 40th game, matching their victory total from last season.
Antawn Jamison scored 19 points for the Wizards.
Bobcats 118, Warriors 109
Jason Richardson scored 42 points against his former team, and Charlotte snapped Golden State's four-game winning streak.
Richardson, who spent six seasons with the Warriors before being traded on draft night, was two points shy of his career high. He hit 15 of 32 shots to help the Bobcats to their first three-game winning streak of the season.
Monta Ellis scored 32 points, Baron Davis added 30 and Stephen Jackson had 21 for Golden State.
Raptors 108, Heat 83
The Raptors used a 16-0 first-quarter run to take control, and a 15-0 burst in the third quarter to seal their second easy win on the Heat's home floor in a month.
Rasho Nesterovic had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Marcus Banks scored 21 points for Miami, which lost for the 29th time in 32 games to retain the NBA's worst record (11-47).
Grizzlies 100, Nets 93
Hakim Warrick scored a season-high 25 points and Memphis snapped a nine-game losing streak by pulling away in the fourth quarter.
Mike Miller added 22 for the Grizzlies, who entered the game 1-39 when tied or trailing entering the final quarter.
Richard Jefferson led the visiting Nets with 22 points, and Devin Harris, starting his second game since coming to New Jersey in a trade with Dallas for Jason Kidd, scored 20 points and had eight assists.
Bucks 118, SuperSonics 106
At Milwaukee, Charlie Villanueva had 32 points and 11 rebounds as Milwaukee scored a season-high 118 points.
Andrew Bogut added 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists for Milwaukee.
Kevin Durant had 23 points for Seattle, which lost for the sixth time in seven games and dropped to 6-24 on the road.
Clippers 116, Kings 109, 2OT
At Los Angeles, Al Thornton scored 13 of his 27 points after regulation, Corey Maggette added 22 and the Clippers rallied from a 17-point deficit, keeping the Kings winless against Pacific Division teams.
The Kings are 0-9 this season against division rivals - the only team in the league that hasn't beaten a club from its own division.
Dan Dickau scored a season-high 20 points, helping Los Angeles snap a six-game losing streak.
Beno Udrih scored 25 points and Mikki Moore had 20 for the Kings, who have lost six of their last seven.