Houston (12-18) at Toronto (10-22)

Sunny Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 52° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Fri Jan 6, 2006
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Tracy McGrady and the Houston Rockets look to complete a perfect three-game road trip as they visit the resurgent Toronto Raptors.

Houston has won two straight games away from Compaq Center, including a 90-81 victory at Cleveland on Thursday.

McGrady scored 34 points—surpassing 30 for the fourth game in a row—as the Rockets followed up a win Tuesday at Washington by handing the Cleveland Cavaliers just their fourth loss in 17 home games, 90-81 on Thursday.

It’s the first time McGrady, who had a season high-tying 38 against the Wizards, has scored at least 30 in four straight games since coming to Houston in 2004.

Houston had been struggling due to the absence of injured All-Star center Yao Ming, and had lost six of seven before starting this trip with consecutive wins.

The team learned Thursday that Yao has begun light workouts following surgery on an infected big toe and expects to return in two to three weeks. In the meantime, the Rockets continue to depend on McGrady’s offense to win games, a role he relishes.

“I’ve got to be more aggressive on offense and assertive on defense because the big fella is out,” said McGrady, who has missed eight games with back problems this season. “I have to attack more and it seems that when I do, we are playing well. I’ve got to continue to do that.”

Toronto has won a season-high four in a row, its longest streak since a five-game run in December 2003.

Rookie Charlie Villanueva scored 24 points as the Raptors rolled to a 121-97 rout of Orlando on Monday night. Mike James added 17 points and seven assists for the Raptors, who still own the third-worst record in the NBA.

Toronto tied a season high in points Monday, and outrebounded the Magic 34-21.

Villanueva, named Eastern Conference rookie of the month for December, had 13 points in the first half. Chris Bosh, Toronto’s leading scorer and rebounder, played just four minutes in the first half after picking up two early fouls.

He finished with 10 points in 15 minutes.

“This shows our growth,” Bosh said.

The Raptors have won six of their last eight games overall.

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