Utah falls as Boozer plays his 2nd game

Juneau-Douglas High School graduate scores six points in loss to Houston

Posted: Sunday, February 12, 2006

HOUSTON - Yao Ming scored 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting and Rafer Alston dished out a season-high 13 assists as the Houston Rockets beat the Utah Jazz 102-88 on Saturday night.

Juneau-Douglas High School graduate and Utah forward Carlos Boozer scored six points in his second game since returning for a hamstring injury.

Boozer scored two points in his season debut Friday, a 94-80 win over Minnesota.

Tracy McGrady added 25 points to shake out of a slump and David Wesley scored 17 as Houston won for the fifth time in six games and improved to 7-16 at home.

The Rockets looked much sharper than they did in an 89-78 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. Houston shot 49 percent (40-of-81) Saturday with the help of 27 assists and scored 17 points off 15 Utah turnovers.

Milt Palacio scored 20 points and had six assists for the Jazz, who had won four of their last five.

McGrady, mired in a 19-for-63 slump over the last three games, scored his first 11 points in a 3-minute span between the first and second quarters to give Houston a 23-16 lead.

The Jazz missed 15 of their first 22 shots and Houston's lead bulged to double digits. Alston, who had six assists in the opening quarter, hit a wide-open 3-pointer to put the Rockets up 34-21 with 7:59 left in the first half.

A minute later, Alston passed to Keith Bogans for a fast-break layup, Bogans' first basket since Houston acquired him from Charlotte for Lonny Baxter on Thursday. Bogans added a follow shot later in the second quarter.

While Utah stayed cold, the Rockets clicked on offense for a change, with crisp passes setting up close-range baskets. Consecutive dunks by Yao put the Rockets up 44-27 with 2:51 left before halftime.

The Jazz found their touch late in the half, hitting four of their last five shots. The Rockets coughed up two turnovers in the first 90 seconds of the third quarter, and the Jazz finished a 13-2 run on Devin Brown's 3-pointer from the corner.

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