Rockets blast the Nets, 114-91

December 22, 2008 7:07:26 PM PST
While Yao Ming won the showdown with fellow Chinese Olympian Yi Jianlian, the smallest player on the court stole the show from the 7-footers. Yao had 24 points and 16 rebounds and Aaron Brooks tied his career-high with 22 points as the Houston Rockets won their season-high fourth straight game with a 114-91 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Monday night in a game that was televised live to China.

With Yao clogging the lane, the Rockets limited the Nets to a season-low 13 points in the first quarter in taking a 29-13 lead and never being threatened again. Houston shot 58 percent for the game, including 9-of-19 from 3-point range.

Keyon Dooling had 17 points to lead New Jersey. The Nets got just 10 points apiece from Yi, Devin Harris, Vince Carter on a combined 11 of 37 shooting.

The 10 points was a season-low for Harris, who has emerged as one of the league's top point guards less than a year after being acquired in a trade for Jason Kidd.

Tracy McGrady added 12 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Rockets, who won for the eighth time in 10 games. Carl Landry added 13 points.

Houston never trailed after McGrady hit a jumper to snap a 4-all tie. Luis Scola scored in the lane against Yi and Brooks followed with the first of what would be his four 3-pointers to push the lead to 11-4.

After Yi followed a miss by Harris, Brooks converted a four-point play and McGrady hit two free throws to give d to 11-4.

After Yi followed a miss by Harris, Brooks converted a four-point play and McGrady hit two free throws to give Houston a 17-6 lead.

Brooks finished with 11 points in the quarter, and closing out the period by setting up Landry for a layup in the final seconds for one of the six assists by the 6-footer.

Houston led by 23 points in the second quarter and the Nets never got closer than 16 in the third. The fourth quarter was mostly garbage time for the reserves.

NOTES: The Yao-Yi matchup was televised to China live by the nation's largest network. The Nets distributed about 40 credentials to international members of the media. ...The Rockets had 61 points in the first half, the sixth time they have scored 60 or more points in a half. ...Houston has won 11 straight road games vs. Eastern Conference opponents dating to last season. The Nets played without Bobby Simmons, who went to Chicago for the pending birth of his child.