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Yi Readies for Yao with Win
    2007-11-08 18:36:45     Xinhua

Milwaukee Bucks power forward Yi Jianlian of China shoots over Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Milwaukee on Tuesday, November 6, 2007. [Photo: Shanghai Daily/Agencies]

The Milwaukee Bucks played their best basketball of the season, thumping the visiting Toronto Raptors 112-85 on Tuesday, where they had 31 assists on 47 field goals.

The Bucks came into the game without head coach Larry Krystkowiak, whose wife gave birth to twin daughters. His assistant Tony Brown coached the team in Krystkowiak's absence - and presided over an offensive outburst that started early and never really let up.

Milwaukee hit 21 of its first 25 shots en route to a 63-48 half-time lead. The hosts' biggest lead for the game was 34 as they totally dismantled the Raptors.

Rookie power forward Yi Jianlian had 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and three blocks in 30 minutes of playing time. But the Bucks (2-2) were paced by Desmond Mason, who was 10-for-10 from the field and scored 21 points.

Milwaukee, a team that didn't shoot 60 percent or better from the field in a game all last season, shot 60.3 percent and held Toronto star Chris Bosh to one point.

The Raptors (2-2) were led by guard Juan Dixon who scored 20 points and Kris Humphries with 16.

Toronto's five starters combined for 28 points.

The Bucks will take on the Rockets in Houston tomorrow, when Yi will come face-to-face with his Chinese compatriot Yao Ming for the first time in his NBA rookie season.

Yao helped the Rockets hand the San Antonio Spurs a first loss of the season, scoring 28 points and 13 rebounds in a 89-81 victory over the National Basketball Association champions.

The Rockets lost by nine points at Dallas on Monday but raised their record to 4-1 by beating San Antonio for the first time at the Toyota Center in their last five attempts.

The Spurs had opened the season with three straight victories.

"The guys just did a great job," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said.

In other NBA games, it was: Knicks 119, Nuggets 112; Magic 111, Timberwolves 103; Suns 115, Bobcats 83; Nets 87, Hawks 82; Clippers 97, Bulls 91; Hornets 118, Lakers 104; Cavaliers 108, Warriors 104; and Kings 104, SuperSonics 98.

In Houston, the Rockets dominated the boards, out-rebounding San Antonio 55-28 to win a game in which Houston's Tracy McGrady hit just four of his 14 shots and finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

"We all understand how good we can be," McGrady said.

"For the guys that have been in this league for a long time, our window of opportunity is closing.

"We understand that and it's about time. We have a great nucleus of talent here, so why not now?"

Yao also dished out six assists and played strong defense when he was matched up with Tim Duncan, limiting the Spurs center to 1-for-9 shooting in the second quarter. Duncan wound up 5-for-15 and had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Manu Ginobili led the Spurs with 23 points and Tony Parker added 21.

Bonzi Wells added 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Rockets.

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