CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Houston Rockets center Yao Ming and guard Tracy McGrady have been called one of the NBA’s best scoring tandems. The Charlotte Bobcats won’t dispute that.
McGrady and Yao led the Rockets back from a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter to an 85-82 win on Sunday night.
Yao scored a season-high 34 points, including a pair of free throws with 20.4 seconds left to put Houston in the lead, and McGrady had 12 of his 26 points in the final period as the Rockets won their third straight game.
“I don’t think there’s a better 1-2 combination … they might be the best combination since MJ (Michael Jordan) and (Scottie) Pippen,” Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace said. “Tracy is a great offensive player … and Yao Ming is basically what they call him, the Great Wall of China. Once he gets the ball, he’s pretty much unstoppable.”
Yao and McGrady combined to hit 22-of-35 from the field and 15-of-17 from the free throw line for Houston, which saw its decisive 47-34 rebounding advantage offset by 20 turnovers. That made for a close game, with 15 lead changes and nine ties.
“This was a game that we should have lost, because we didn’t play particularly well,” McGrady said. “It just goes to show how good we can be. … We found some way to keep ourselves in the game. When it mattered the most, myself and Yao brought it home.”’
Matt Carroll scored 17 points for the Bobcats, who saw their two-game winning streak snapped. Jason Richardson and Raymond Felton had 16 points each, Wallace scored 10 and Emeka Okafor finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.