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Yao Carries Rockets Past Cavs
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Yao Ming shrugged off the first-quarter exit of fellow NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady on Saturday to lead Houston to an 81-63 home victory over Cleveland.

Yao recorded 24 points and four blocks and Chuck Hayes grabbed 13 rebounds for the Rockets, despite the fact that McGrady finished the night with only seven points in just 11 minutes.

McGrady suffered concussion in the first quarter after being elbowed by teammate Dikembe Mutombo with 1:13 left.

After sitting on the bench for several minutes, McGrady tried to walk to the locker room under his own power before his legs buckled and an assistant had to support him.

Houston closed the first half with a commanding 16-2 surge. Yao netted 10 during the run, which provided a 43-29 advantage at intermission. Houston outscored Cleveland 20-10 in the second period.

Superstar LeBron James scored 21 points on just 7-of-22 shooting for the Cavaliers, who shot a dismal 28 percent.

On Friday, Yao Ming was named the Western Conference Player of the Month for November, the first time in his NBA career. Yao averaged 25.7 points - including 11 consecutive 20-point contests - and 10.1 rebounds for the Rockets, who went 10-5 in the month. Houston went 8-1 when Yao - the No. 1 pick in 2002 - led them in scoring.

Center Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Month after averaging 17.1 points on 57.6 percent shooting and a league-best 13.6 rebounds.

(Source: Shenzhen Daily/agencies December 4, 2006)

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