Tony Barone's NBA coaching debut was a successful one Saturday night as the Grizzlies won for just the 7th time this season. Win again tonight, and it would really be something special. The Grizzlies haven't won back to back games yet this year! Alas, this was not the night. Houston won a close one 111-109 on New Year's Eve.
Tracy McGrady scored a season-high 38 points and had nine rebounds to help the Houston hand Grizzlies interim coach Tony Barone his first loss. Juwan Howard added a season-high 22 points, and Luther Head had 18 in the Rockets' third straight victory. They are 3-1 since Yao Ming broke a bone under his right knee. McGrady hit 15 of 30 shots and went 5-for-8 from 3-point range. Dikembe Mutombo had 11 rebounds for Houston, which hit 14 3-pointers, a season high.
Mike Miller matched a season high with seven 3-pointers and scored 32 points for Memphis in its 12th loss in 14 games. The Grizzlies lost five in a row before Barone replaced Mike Fratello before Saturday's 110-104 win over Toronto.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)