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Late surge carries misfiring Rockets past Warriors
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With Tracy McGrady sidelined again, Ron Artest, Yao Ming and Aaron Brooks led the Houston Rockets to a 110-93 victory over Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

McGrady missed his 17th game of the season Saturday after suffering a high ankle sprain on Friday in practice.

The Houston Chronicle reported that McGrady took the court briefly during the pre-game shootaround and decided he couldn't play.

While the injury is not expected to pose a long-term problem, it was another setback for the Rockets, who have played just 23 games this season with Yao, Artest and McGrady in the lineup.

All three had recently returned from various injuries.

"We are getting a little bit used to it," Yao told the Chronicle. "We've had games with no me or no Ron or no Tracy. We have to look at the positive."

Artest, starting in place of McGrady, scored 27 points and added seven rebounds and seven assists.

China's Yao chipped in 25 points and 11 rebounds and Brooks added 22 points off the bench.

Corey Maggette led the Warriors, who knocked off the New Orleans Hornets on Friday, with 17 points.

The Warriors kept it close for nearly three quarters, leading for the last time at 69-68 midway through the third.

But the Rockets ended the quarter with a 13-6 scoring burst to take an 81-73 lead into the final period.

Spurs 106, Hornets 93

At San Antonio, Tony Parker prevailed in a clash of NBA all-star point guards, scoring 25 points and stretching San Antonio's divisional lead over Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets in Saturday's 106-93 win.

Paul, who scored 38, will start ahead of Parker for the Western Conference at the all-star game in two weeks, and he had the kind of game that showed why.

But the Spurs pushed their lead over the Hornets in the Southwest Division to three games.

Mavericks 111, Heat 96

In Miami, Dallas stretched its dominance over Miami to a ninth consecutive regular-season win, using radar-like shooting.

The Mavericks sank a season-best 60 percent of their shots, with Dirk Nowitzki leading the way, getting 30 points from 12-for-14 shooting.

Jason Terry scored 20 and Jason Kidd finished with 11 assists for Dallas, which hasn't lost to Miami in the regular season since early 2004.

Bucks 110, Hawks 107

In Milwaukee, the hosts made it four straight home victories over Atlanta.

Charlie Villanueva scored 27 points and Richard Jefferson and Ramon Sessions each had 20 for the Bucks.

Atlanta's Joe Johnson, picked as a reserve to the Eastern Conference all-star team for the third consecutive season, passed the 10,000 point mark in his career.

Lakers 115, Grizzlies 98

In Memphis, Tennessee, Memphis crashed to its 12th straight loss, beaten comfortably by Los Angeles.

Kobe Bryant scored 25 points and had seven assists, while Pau Gasol had 24 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers, who won for the sixth time in the past seven games.

(Agencies via China Daily Feburary 2, 2009)

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