|Rick Adelman earns 800th win against former team as Houston beats Sacramento 108-100|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 25 March 2008 00:04|
Rafer Alston scored 28 points and Tracy McGrady added 17 on Monday night as the Houston Rockets beat the Sacramento Kings 108-100, making Adelman the 13th coach to reach the milestone.
Adelman won 395 games coaching the Kings from 1998-2006. He won at least 50 games in five straight seasons, but was fired after going only 44-38 in his last year.
The 61-year-old Adelman laughed off the coincidence of beating the Kings to reach the 800-victory plateau.
``I really don't care about that, I just don't,'' he said. ``That seems like a long time ago. We parted ways. There are still guys on that team that I'm very fond of, that I coached. A win like that, I could care less who it comes against.''
Adelman is now one of six active coaches with 800 wins, joining Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan, Don Nelson and George Karl.
Several Kings congratulated Adelman as he walked off the court.
``I helped him get a few of those,'' Sacramento center Brad Miller said. ``He's a great coach to have played for.''
Shane Battier added 15 points for the Rockets, who won for the second time in five games since the end of their 22-game winning streak last Tuesday.
Kevin Martin scored 18, and Ron Artest and Francisco Garcia had 17 apiece to lead the Kings, who've lost eight of their last nine road games. Sacramento allowed 100 points for the 17th time in 18 games as Houston shot 50 percent from the field (35-of-70).
The Rockets moved within a half-game of idle New Orleans for the top spot in the Western Conference.
``You've got to block out the team's record and how they've been playing and who they have out on the floor and understand what is at stake,'' said Alston. ``It's such a tough race right now. You're just going to have to go ahead and play basketball and find the energy to play against a team that maybe isn't in the race.''
The Rockets led by eight midway through the fourth quarter, but baskets by Quincy Douby and John Salmons cut the lead in half. Artest scored inside with 4:13 left to pull Sacramento within two at 91-89.
Rookie Carl Landry answered with a basket inside and Alston then hit two free throws and flipped in a one-handed shot from the baseline as the Rockets took control for good.
Houston kept Sacramento at bay by going 9-of-12 from the free-throw line in the final 1:38. The Rockets went 33-for-42 from the free-throw line overall, setting season highs in both makes and attempts.
Houston came in shooting only 72 percent from the line.
``It's going to come down in games, especially in the playoffs, where you've got to make foul shots,'' said McGrady, who was 7-for-9 on free throws. ``Tonight, we did a better job of concentrating on going up there and knocking them down.''
McGrady said he sprained his left shoulder fighting through a screen late in the game. It was wrapped in ice afterward, but McGrady didn't expect to miss Wednesday's game against Minnesota.
Houston led 53-49 at halftime.
The Kings missed seven of their first 10 shots out of the break and Houston stretched its lead to 65-55. Garcia scored seven points in the last 2:16 of the third quarter as Sacramento cut the deficit to 77-72 heading to the fourth.
McGrady was resting on the bench as the final quarter began. He returned with 9:01 left and the Rockets leading 83-79. He hit two mid-range jumpers and sank a pair of free throws to push Houston's lead to 91-83.
``It was tough to overcome their free-throw shooting,'' Sacramento coach Reggie Theus said. ``We had some runs, but then they went to the free-throw line and it was a rally killer.''
Sacramento has dropped seven of its last 11 games overall, and eight of the last 11 meetings with Houston.