Thu, February 19, 2009
Sports > Basketball

4th Yao-Yi Chinese derby staged in NBA

2009-02-19 08:22:50 GMT2009-02-19 16:22:50 (Beijing Time)  China Daily

Huston Rockets' Yao Ming (L) from China shakes hands with countryman Yi Jianlian of New Jersey Nets before their NBA game in Huston February 18, 2009. It was the fourth confront of China's two biggest basketball stars on NBA court. Yao's Rockets beat Yi's Nets 114-88. Yao scored 20 points with 12 rebounds and Yi got five points after a month-long break due to finger injury. [CFP]

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming (L) battles for a rebound with New Jersey Nets center Josh Boone (2) and forward Yi Jianlian (R) during their NBA basketball game in Houston February 17, 2009.[Agencies]

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming (L) is defended by New Jersey Nets forward Yi Jianlian (R) as he goes up for a shot during their NBA basketball game in Houston February 17, 2009. [sina.com]

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming (L) is defended by New Jersey Nets forward Yi Jianlian (R) as he goes up for a shot during their NBA basketball game in Houston February 17, 2009. [sina.com]

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming (L) is defended by New Jersey Nets forward Yi Jianlian (R) as he goes up for a shot during their NBA basketball game in Houston February 17, 2009. [Agencies]

Yao Ming had 20 points and 12 rebounds and Shane Battier scored a season-high 19 points as the Houston Rockets beat the Nets, 114-88, on Tuesday night.

Artest started in place of Tracy McGrady, who sat out for the 19th time this season with an injury. McGrady said before the All-Star break he would take a leave to seek input on the best course of treatment for his left knee.

Vince Carter scored 30 points and Brook Lopez added 21 for the Nets, who have lost three straight after a four-game winning streak.

“It was a tough night,” Carter said. “We have to do better if we want to win. We have to focus for 48 minutes and they took the life out of us.”

Yi Jianlian scored 5 points for the Nets in his first game since Jan. 9, when he broke a finger. Last season, when Yi was with Milwaukee, his arrival in Houston to face Yao’s Rockets was a major event in China — the first time the nation’s two biggest basketball stars faced off in the N.B.A. The Rockets beat Yi and the Bucks, 104-88.

In this one, Yao outmuscled Yi for an offensive rebound and dunked to give the Rockets their first lead, 17-16.

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