Houston (42-27) at San Antonio (51-18)

Fair Currently: San Antonio, TX
Temp: 74° F
  • Game info: 1:00 pm EST Sun Mar 27, 2005
  • TV: ABC
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Tracy McGrady has had some clutch performances against the San Antonio Spurs this season. He could miss out on his last chance to torment them when the Houston Rockets visit the SBC Center.

McGrady strained his right hip in the first quarter of Friday’s 81-68 win at New Orleans. The Rockets’ leading scorer fell to the floor after colliding with teammate Yao Ming while defending in the lane. X-rays were negative, and McGrady is listed as questionable for Sunday.

McGrady has averaged 27.7 points in helping the Rockets take two of three from San Antonio this season.

In a Dec. 9 matchup against the Spurs, he scored 13 points in the final 35 seconds to erase a 10-point deficit in Houston’s 81-80 victory. He also hit a 3-pointer with 35 seconds remaining to end the Spurs’ comeback hopes in a 73-67 win on Jan. 15.

None of those victories, however, came in San Antonio, where the Rockets have lost 14 in a row since a 103-94 victory on April 20, 1997.

McGrady also leads the Rockets in assists (5.8), and is second in rebounding at 6.1 per game. He missed his only shot and had one assist in three minutes Friday.

Bob Sura stepped up with 19 points and 11 assists, and David Wesley added 15 points as the Rockets won their third in a row and ninth in 11 games overall.

“Obviously, it’s a big blow to us,” Wesley said of McGrady’s injury. “We need to pick up his scoring, pick up his shots and pick up his rebounds.”

The Spurs have been trying to do the same since losing Tim Duncan to a sprained right ankle against Detroit on Sunday.

San Antonio lost 88-75 at New York on Monday, 100-93 at Indiana two days later before picking up its first win without its All-Star power forward Friday, with a 111-95 win over league-worst Atlanta.

The Spurs, who were also without reserve guard Devin Brown (back), improved to 2-5 overall without Duncan this season.

Brent Barry scored a season-high 23 points and was one of six San Antonio players to reach double figures. Manu Ginobili also had 23 points, and Tony Parker added 22 as the Spurs snapped a three-game losing streak, improving the league’s best home record to 32-3.

Barry, who went 5-for-7 on 3-pointers in 32 minutes off the bench, has made seven of his 10 3-point attempts and is averaging 20 points in his last two games. His season average is 7.0 points.

The Spurs, who shot 52 percent on Friday, are hoping for more of the same production against the Rockets on Sunday.

“Guys have to step up,” Spurs assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo said. “If we play anything like we did in New York or Indiana it will be a different situation.”

Ginobili agrees.

“It will be a great challenge for us without Tim,” he said. “We know how tough they are. They are going to come really hard at us. We are going to have to come with a lot of energy for 48 minutes.”

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