Final

Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/6

Game 1: Saturday, November 6th
Kings101Final
OT
Rockets104
Game 2: Tuesday, November 23rd
Rockets96Final
Kings102
Game 3: Friday, January 28th
Kings117Final
OT
Rockets111
Game 4: Sunday, March 13th
Rockets111Final
Kings96

Rockets 111

(37-25, 18-13 away)

Kings 96

(39-25, 23-9 home)

12:30 PM ET, March 13, 2005

Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

1 2 3 4 T
HOU 30 36 23 22111
SAC 24 28 25 1996

Top Performers

Hou: T. McGrady 22 Pts, 5 Reb, 7 Ast, 4 Stl

Sac: P. Stojakovic 21 Pts, 2 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

McGrady, James key fourth straight victory

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Now that Houston has surrounded Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming with talented perimeter shooters, the Rockets have become an offensive juggernaut.

David Wesley scored 21 points, Mike James added 20, and the Rockets outshot the Sacramento Kings to win their fourth straight game against a top Western Conference team, 111-96 on Sunday.

McGrady led the Rockets with 22 points and Yao added 17 as Houston ended an 11-game losing streak in Sacramento. The Rockets hadn't won in Arco Arena since a 107-93 victory on March 28, 1999.

"We put some points up on the board because we're doing a great job of sharing the ball," McGrady said. "We've got guys who can flat out shoot the ball. When those guys are shooting, it opens it up a lot for Yao."

After starting the season 12-14, the Rockets have made three key acquisitions, trading for Jon Barry, Wesley, and James. Houston is 25-11 since getting Barry on Dec. 23 from Atlanta.

"When Mike, Jon and myself are out there, you've got to pick your poison," McGrady said. "Who are you going to come off? All three of us can shoot. Mike is doing a fabulous job of getting his points within the offense."

Houston's last four wins have come against four of the best five teams in the Western Conference -- Dallas, Seattle, Phoenix and Sacramento. The Rockets, who trail the Kings by one game for fifth in the conference, will try to complete a perfect four-game road trip with a win Monday night against last-place Golden State.

Peja Stojakovic had 21 points and Cuttino Mobley added 20 as the Kings had their three-game winning streak snapped.

Sacramento missed the inside presence of Brad Miller, who was placed on the injured list before the game after breaking his left leg Saturday in a light shooting drill. Miller is expected to be sidelined for at least a month.

Houston got great shooting from its guards, as Wesley, James and Barry combined to make 20 of 26 from the field. The Rockets shot 53 percent overall.

"We weren't getting to shooters, and they were knocking down every shot," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "It wasn't like they were pounding it inside or getting to the basket. We couldn't get our hands up, we couldn't get to guys, and they made us pay."

The Kings, who trailed by 18 in the second quarter, cut the deficit to five points with a 12-2 run in the third quarter featuring a pair of 3-pointers by Mobley. But Houston scored the next seven points, capped by a swooping finger roll from McGrady to go back up by 12.

Sacramento got it back down to six on a dunk by Brian Skinner with 3:45 to go and had a chance to get it even closer but Skinner knocked a rebound out of bounds.

Houston took advantage, getting two free throws from Yao and a jumper by McGrady to make it 105-95. After Bibby made one of two at the line, James hit a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to make it 108-96 with 1:59 to go.

"I like the fact that we haven't given our big leads all away," Wesley said. "It's really important for us when teams make runs like they did tonight not to panic and to go out there and get baskets while we're getting stops."

The Rockets took the lead for good with a 13-2 run starting late in the first quarter. The spurt was capped by consecutive baskets by Juwan Howard to open the second quarter, giving Houston a 34-24 lead.

James scored five straight points to end a 10-1 run late in the second quarter that extended the Rockets' lead to 59-42. Houston, which shot 57 percent in the first half, led 66-52 at the break, its third straight half with at least 60.

"They were hot and we didn't close out enough," Mobley said. "We didn't rotate good enough in the first half and they had the confidence, so the second half was more of a coast for them."

Game notes


Ron Garretson called two technicals -- one on Yao and the other on Adelman. Van Gundy was livid at the first-quarter call on Yao, who put his arm on Garretson while arguing a foul. "That was a joke," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "I heard a lot of people cursing at the refs and that was fine. Yao touched him, and that's a technical foul?" ... The Kings activated forward Erik Daniels to take Miller's place. ... Philadelphia Eagles receiver Terrell Owens was in attendance and threw an autographed football into the stands during a first-half break.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
HOU
SAC
Points 111 96
FGM-FGA 43-81 (.531) 38-94 (.404)
3PM-3PA 8-18 (.444) 11-29 (.379)
FTM-FTA 17-19 (.895) 9-18 (.500)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-47 23-40
Assists 26 28
Turnovers 17 14
Steals 8 11
Blocks 5 3
Fast Break Points 17 6
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (2/0) 17 (1/0)
Largest Lead 18 5

Top Performers

Houston
Sacramento
Tracy McGrady McGrady
Points: 22
Reb: 5
Ast: 7
Stl: 4
Blk: 0
Peja Stojakovic Stojakovic
Points: 21
Reb: 2
Ast: 4
Stl: 1
Blk: 0