Houston (23-16) at Memphis (21-18)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Memphis, TN
Temp: 78° F
  • Game info: 7:30 pm EST Mon Jan 19, 2004
  • TV: TNT, TNT
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Jeff Van Gundy knows how dominant Yao Ming can be in the paint. The Houston Rockets coach would just like to see his center do it more often.

Yao will try to help the Rockets win their fourth straight when they meet the Memphis Grizzlies at The Pyramid.

During the Rockets’ current winning streak, Yao has eclipsed 20 points and 10 rebounds in each game—something he had never done over a three-game span before.

“He’s been more aggressive the last three games. I keep wishing that he would do that all of the time,” Rockets guard Steve Francis said.

Yao had 22 points and 15 rebounds to lead six Rockets in double figures Saturday in a 95-76 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. It was his 17th double-double of the season.

“I thought he was very active. Whenever he gets some offensive rebounds that helps, and when he gets open shots that helps,” Van Gundy said. “He can score in a number of ways. He had a bit of a lull there for four or five games, but recently he’s really played well.”

Yao said he is starting to find his rhythm around the basket.

“Everything is going a lot more smoothly right now,” said Yao, who is averaging 15.7 points and 9.3 rebounds. “Some of the problems that I had been having, I’ve worked it out in my mind how to get around them.”

The Grizzlies have won four straight, including a 91-87 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday. Pau Gasol scored a team-high 16 points, and Mike Miller hit a running layup with 36.6 seconds remaining to help give Memphis the win.

“You pick your spots,” said Miller, who scored just five points. “Sometimes you get shots. Sometimes you don’t. The bottom line is to win the game.”

The Grizzlies played the second half without starting point guard Jason Williams, who was poked in eye in the second quarter and did not return.

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