NBA Roundup: McGrady, Rockets Stomp The Yard

Notes from Monday's games in the National Basketball Association ...

The Night Chicago Died. Tracy McGrady is drinking the happy powder, as his 31 points on Monday marked his sixth straight game with 30 or more, Houston beating Chicago 84-77. But it took him awhile to ignite; 15 of his 31 came in the fourth quarter. It was the sixth straight 30-point performance for McGrady. Chicago went 30-for-82, including 3-of-15 from 3-point range. Ben Gordon led Chicago with 24 points.

Attention Loge Section: Can Anyone Here Defend The Post? It was Depleted Roster night in Denver on Monday ... seriously, they were grabbing people from the snack bar line to play. Fortunately Marcus Camby had returned from a finger injury to score 19 points and grab 15 rebounds, leading the Nuggets over the Bucks 104-92. The Bucks were missing guard Michael Redd (strained left knee), guard Mo Williams (sprained left shoulder during the game) and forward Charlie Villanueva (injured right shoulder). The Nuggets were without Allen Iverson, who sprained his right toe. The team said X-rays were negative and listed him as probable for Wednesday night against San Antonio. Denver was also missing Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith (suspended for brawling with the Knicks last month).

One Small Step For A Man, One Giant Leap For The Clippers. Sam Cassell took the court for the first time since mid-December and scored 31 points to lead the Clippers over the Hornets 100-90. Cassell had missed seven games with — say it with us — plantar fasciitis in his left heel.