Yao had 16 points and eight rebounds Tuesday to lead the Rockets to a 93-91 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
“I believe I have to hold Yao to a higher standard of what he’s capable of,” Van Gundy said. “I believe he should hold himself to a higher standard.”
Yao missed two free throws with nine seconds remaining Tuesday, and Van Gundy thinks he should be getting more out of his 7-foot-5 center.
“He’s a great shooter. Not a good shooter, a great shooter. And he should be a great shooter from the line in the fourth quarter,” Van Gundy said. “That’s up to him and me to bring it out of him.”
Yao, who is shooting 75.2 percent from the line, knows he should be making more of his free throws.
“I used to be very confident at shooting them,” Yao said. “But I got too confident and it had the reverse effect.”
The Spurs are also riding a four-game winning streak. They come to Houston after beating the Blazers 102-77 at home on Wednesday. Duncan had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and four other Spurs scored in double figures.
“We played well execution-wise on both ends of the floor,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “The team defense was good. We did a better job on the boards in the second half. The guys look more familiar with what we are doing. All in all, it was a good night.”
Despite winning four straight for the first time this season, the defending NBA champions remained tied with the Utah Jazz for last place in the Midwest Division.
“We’re confident but we’re still building,” Duncan said. “We know we aren’t peaking, but we are getting better and playing with a lot more confidence that we were We are building on the wins and getting more confident. We need to do that on the road and get a good road win in Houston.”