Rocket Blast: Going into Knicks at Rockets game
qNew York leads the all-time series over Houston, 68-50, but the Rockets hold a 31-27 edge over the Knicks at home. The Knicks are 40-18 in New York against the Rockets. In neutral-site games with New York, Houston is 1-1 all-time during the regular season. The Rockets swept the series last season and hold a three-game winning streak over the Knicks. Houston now needs just one win to match the team's longest winning streak over New York in the history of this series (4 games, 2x: last 11/3/84-3/22/86). In the first game of last season's series, Houston ran its winning streak at Madison Square Garden to three games with a 93-89 win over the Knicks at New York (2/5/06). The Rockets completed a weekend sweep of rare back-to-back home games with an impressive 90-83 win in the second meeting last season vs. New York (2/12/06).
qSeries Notes: Jeff Van Gundy is now 5-1 with the Rockets against his former team the Knicks ... Rafer Alston matched his 2005-06 season high of eight rebounds at New York (2/5/06) ... Yao Ming (4) and Dikembe Mutombo (3) combined for seven of Houston's eight blocked shots vs. New York (2/12/06) ... Jamal Crawford, who was 5-of-9 from beyond the arc, scored 15 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter at New York (2/5/06).
qConnections: Prior to joining the Rockets, Jeff Van Gundy compiled a 248-172 (.590) record in seven seasons as the head coach of the New York Knicks ... Tom Thibodeau, Steve Clifford and Andy Greer all served as assistant coaches with the Knicks ... Mike Longabardi, Rockets assistant coach/video coordinator, is a native of Brooklyn, New York ... drafted by the Knicks in the first round (26th overall) of the 1994 NBA Draft, Charlie Ward spent his first nine-and-a-half seasons in the league with New York, averaging 6.5 points and 4.2 assists in 580 games with the Knicks ... Rafer Alston was tagged a "playground legend" while playing in his hometown of Queens, New York ... Dikembe Mutombo averaged 5.6 points and 6.7 rebounds with New York in 2003-04 ... Knicks guard Steve Francis still ranks 10th in Rockets history in points scored (7,226) after spending five seasons (1999-2004) with the Rockets ... New York center Kelvin Cato was with the Rockets from 1999-2004 ... Phil Ford, an assistant coach with the Knicks, played with the Rockets from 1983-85 ... Tracy McGrady and Juwan Howard of the Rockets along with Francis and Cato of the Knicks were part of a seven-player trade between Houston and Orlando on June 29, 2004.
qThe Rockets have a chance to do something done only one time before since moving to Toyota Center in 2003 - open 2-0 at home. After playing the first three games on the road (1-2 record), the 2004-05 Rockets took home wins over Sacramento (11/6/04) and Memphis (11/9/04) for the only 2-0 start at Toyota Center.
qThe Rockets have now outrebounded their opponent by double digits in thee consecutive games. Houston outrebounded the Hornets by 51-35 (+16) at New Orleans/Oklahoma City (11/5/06), posted a 45-33 (+12) advantage at Memphis (11/7/06) and then hit the boards for a 43-33 (+10) edge at Milwaukee (11/8/06). The last time the Rockets outrebounded their opponent by 10-plus rebounds in three straight games was during a run of six consecutive games during the 2002-03 season (2/12/03-2/22/03).
qTracy McGrady dropped in 32 points in a 97-93 victory at Milwaukee (11/8/06) to improve Houston's record to 2-0 when they have a 30-point scorer this season. Yao Ming registered 36 points in a 107-76 win vs. Dallas (11/4/06).
qThe 97-93 win at Milwaukee (11/8/06) also moved the Rockets to 3-2 and above .500 for the first time since starting the 2005-06 campaign with a 1-0 mark.