Rockets Beat SuperSonics 103-80
Houston hands Seattle 18th loss in last 20 games
By Doug Sweeney,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2008 10:29 PM CDT
Houston Rockets' Rafer Alston, left, runs into Seattle SuperSonics' Johan Petro of France, during the second half of a basketball game Wednesday, April 9, 2008 in Houston.    (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
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(Newser) – Rafer Alston scored 18 points and Luis Scola added 13 points and 12 rebounds as the Houston Rockets, playing without Tracy McGrady, easily beat the Seattle SuperSonics 103-80 on Wednesday night. McGrady sat out with a sore left shoulder that's bothered him for more than a week, but the Rockets didn't miss him against the Sonics.

Luther Head started for McGrady and scored 16 and Steve Novak added a career-high 17 points off the bench as Houston held Seattle to 36 percent shooting (32 of 88) to keep pace with first-place New Orleans in the tightly packed Western Conference playoff race. Former Texas star Kevin Durant scored 26, Nick Collison grabbed 15 rebounds.