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Houston Loses to Orlando with Yao Hobbled
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Despite 18 first-half points by Tracy McGrady,

Houston fell to Orlando 94-90 on Thursday. With Yao Ming hobbling off with a sprained ankle, the Rockets were unable to earn a victory in their final tune-up before the regular season.


Yao Ming took an early seat, and Dwight Howard took advantage. Howard dominated the paint and scored 22 points and Carlos Arroyo added 16 as the Orlando Magic posted a strong preseason victory.


Howard collected 12.5 rebounds per game last season, ranking second in the NBA behind Minnesota's Kevin Garnett. On Thursday, the star forward grabbed 15 boards and shot 6-for-12 from the field and 10-for-12 from the line.


The 7'5'' Yao left in the second quarter with a sprained right ankle, leaving Howard to dominate the key.


Arroyo was 6-for-10 from the floor and handed out two assists in 23 minutes. Hedo Turkoglu added 10 points for the Magic, who shot 45 percent (39-of-86).


Along with T-Mac's 18 points, second-round pick Steve Novak netted 10 for the Rockets, who shot just 38 percent (28-for-73) and committed 20 turnovers.


(CRI October 27, 2006)

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