Rockets' streak at 20, tied for 2nd longest

The Baltimore Sun

The Houston Rockets' 20th straight win was far from pretty, but coach Rick Adelman was still impressed with his team.

The Rockets were held to their lowest first-half total of the season but pulled away late to become the third team in NBA history to win 20 consecutive games, tying for the league's second-longest winning streak with an 83-75 victory over the host Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

"It may be the ugliest thing we've done, but it might have been the best one," Adelman said, "the way we fought through it."

The Rockets joined the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers (33 straight) and 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (20) as the only teams to win 20 or more in a row.

"We did enough to win," Adelman said.

Tracy McGrady scored 21 of his 28 points in the second half for Houston, which led only 71-70 with five minutes remaining. McGrady then scored five points in Houston's 10-0 run to take control.

"We're really happy with this win because we didn't play well in the first half," McGrady said.

The Rockets are 20-0 since their last loss, Jan. 27 against Utah, including 7-0 since losing Yao Ming to a foot injury Feb. 26. The Hawks have 16 losses in that same period.

Magic 110, Clippers 88 -- Dwight Howard had 22 points and 13 rebounds in Orlando's victory over visiting Los Angeles. Rashard Lewis had 19 points and Hedo Turkoglu 17 for the Magic.

Knicks 91, Heat 88 -- Jamal Crawford scored 23 points, and New York wasted most of a 14-point fourth-quarter lead before beating host Miami and ending a seven-game losing streak.

Celtics 111, SuperSonics 82 -- Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen each scored 18 points to lift Boston to its 10th straight victory, over visiting Seattle.

76ers 83, Pistons 82 -- Andre Iguodala scored 22 points and Philadelphia hung on to defeat host Detroit. The 76ers didn't score in the final 2:27.

Nets 104, Cavaliers 99 -- Richard Jefferson scored 24 points, and New Jersey overcame LeBron James' 42 points to hold off visiting Cleveland and end a six-game losing streak.

Hornets 100, Spurs 75 -- Chris Paul had 26 points and 17 assists to help host New Orleans to a convincing victory over Southwest Division-leading San Antonio.

Jazz 114, Bucks 110 -- Carlos Boozer had a go-ahead layup with 46.7 seconds left and Utah narrowly avoided another surprising road loss, beating Milwaukee.

Mavericks 118, Bobcats 93 -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 26 points in 28 minutes, and Josh Howard added 24 points as host Dallas beat Charlotte, ending the Bobcats' franchise-record five-game winning streak.

Nuggets 108, Grizzlies 86 -- Kenyon Martin scored 23 points and Carmelo Anthony (Towson Catholic) had 14 points and 13 rebounds to lead host Denver over Memphis.

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