Rockets 100, Jazz 86

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HOUSTON (AP) – Tracy McGrady scored a season-high 44 points, Dikembe Mutombo grabbed a season-best 19 rebounds and the Houston Rockets beat the Utah Jazz 100-86 on Friday night for their fifth straight victory.

McGrady hit 14 of 31 shots and went 13-for-16 from the free-throw line, reaching 40 points for the 39th time in his career. He fell four points shy of his high game in three seasons with Houston, set against Dallas in December 2004. McGrady’s career high is 62 points, reached in his final season with Orlando.

Mutombo had a double-digit rebound total for the fifth consecutive game. The 40-year-old center has ably filled in for the injured Yao Ming, out at least six weeks with a broken right leg. The Rockets are 5-1 without Yao.

Carlos Boozer had 15 points and 17 rebounds and Deron Williams scored 19 points for Utah, which never recovered from Houston’s game-opening 15-3 spurt.

McGrady led the opening run, swishing two 3-pointers in the first 2 minutes, then blowing by Derek Fisher for an easy layup. McGrady ended the burst with a 3-pointer from the wing, confidently nodding as he trotted down the court and setting the tone for his big night.

AP-ES-01-05-07 2303EST

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