Rockets win 18th in a row

The Rockets' Tracy McGrady goes up against the Hornets' Julian Wright during the second half Saturday in Houston. <i>Associated Press</i>

HOUSTON - Tracy McGrady and the Houston Rockets are making it look easy, even against the best teams in the Western Conference.

McGrady scored 41 points Saturday night and the Rockets stretched their winning streak to 18 games with a 106-96 victory over the New Orleans Hornets.

The Rockets have won their last nine games by double digits and moved into a tie with the Hornets in the overall conference standings. Houston, 13-15 in mid-December, closed within one game of San Antonio in the Southwest Division.

The Rockets have the NBA's longest winning streak since the Los Angeles Lakers won 19 in a row in the 1999-2000 season. Houston became just the seventh team in history to win 18 or more consecutive games.

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