LOS ANGELES — Tracy McGrady has proven he can score 60 points in a game. After giving up 25 to him in the first half, the Los Angeles Clippers kept him from making it one of those games and generated enough offense to beat the Houston Rockets.

Sam Cassell had 22 points, Elton Brand scored nine of his 20 points in the final 6 minutes, and the Clippers held McGrady to 2-for-12 shooting in the second half on Saturday to beat Houston 89-81 and snap the Rockets' five-game winning streak.

"Tracy's one of the best at scoring in bunches, so we tried to contest his shots and make him take tough shots," Clippers guard Cuttino Mobley said. "We just tried to wear him down a little bit, and we did a better job of that in the second half."

McGrady, coming off a 34-point game at Seattle, finished with 29 against the Clippers after making 10 of his first 14 shots. The Rockets lost for the second time in eight games since the two-time NBA scoring champion returned from a sprained back that sidelined him for eight games — all losses.

"They did a good job on him, but they committed extra defenders on him," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "Obviously we're struggling right now with our perimeter shooting, and we didn't make them pay as much as we'd hoped to for their committing multiple defenders to McGrady. So we've got to do that a little bit better."

McGrady admitted he was somewhat tired because of the Rockets' grueling six-game road trip, which ends Sunday in this same building against the Lakers.

"I wasn't hurt or anything — just fatigue," McGrady said. "I just really felt this trip in that second half. I felt a little sluggish in the first half, but in the second, it really jumped on me. I just didn't have any energy, any lift in my jumper, or explosiveness going to the basket. I was running in mud."

Mobley scored 18 points for the Clippers, who were missing No. 2 scorer Corey Maggette for the sixth straight game because of a sprained left foot. Backup center Chris Wilcox had 11 points and tied a career high with 13 rebounds, helping end a string of nine straight losses to the Rockets.

The Clippers' starting backcourt of Cassell and Mobley — both drafted by Houston — combined to shoot 17-for-32. Cassell helped the Rockets win NBA titles in 1994 and 1995 after they made him their first-round draft pick in 1993. Mobley spent his first six seasons with them before he was shipped to Orlando in a trade that brought McGrady to Houston in June 2004.

"It's a great gift," Wilcox said. "Those two guys come in and get us motivated, know how to take over the games for us and put players in the right position. Now that we've got them, so we're going to take advantage of them and ride them all the way."

The Clippers, who began the day tied with Phoenix for the Pacific Division lead, ended a three-game skid that included losses to Detroit and San Antonio — the teams that met in last season's NBA finals.

"We've got veterans who know how to get out of those situations," Mobley said. "Sometimes when you're on a losing streak, you start feeling sorry for yourself. But, hey, life goes on and games go on, and there're going to keep playing them while you're sulking. So you've got to let it go and win the next one."

Clippers center Chris Kaman, 6 inches shorter than 7-foot-6 Houston center Yao Ming, played 15 1/2 scoreless minutes with four fouls and grabbed only two rebounds before sitting out the final 7:43 of the first half and the entire third quarter. Wilcox took over in the low post against Yao, scoring 11 points and grabbing 12 rebounds before Kaman returned for the start of the fourth.

Yao finished with 22 points and seven rebounds.

Brand, who spent the winter perfecting his mid-range jumper, made three of them during a 2:47 span to give the Clippers an 82-75 lead with 3:13 to play. The Rockets made only two baskets the rest of the way and fell to 0-12 in games they've scored fewer than 90 points.

Tempers flared with 10:32 left in the third quarter. Cassell tried to fend off a moving pick by Wesley, then responded with a gentle shove before Wesley grabbed him by the front of his shirt. Both players had to be restrained, and each received a technical foul. About 3 1/2 minutes later, Wesley hit a fadeaway 3-pointer for his first points of the game.

PACERS 102, KNICKS 96: At New York, Jermaine O'Neal scored 31 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:56 left, as Indiana handed New York its season-high sixth straight loss.

Jamaal Tinsley added 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and Danny Granger had the best game of his rookie season for the Pacers, who have won four of five overall and snapped a two-game road losing streak.

PISTONS 103, BOBCATS 78: At Charlotte, N.C., Chauncey Billups had 21 points and 12 assists and Detroit routed Charlotte to improve to an NBA-best 18-3 — the best 21-game mark in franchise history.

Richard Hamilton added 15 points and Ben Wallace had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Pistons, 11-2 on the road.

GRIZZLIES 91, SUNS 87: At Memphis, Tenn., Mike Miller had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Pau Gasol also scored 14 points to help Memphis snap a three-game losing streak with a victory over Phoenix. Phoenix lost for the fourth time in its last five.

CAVALIERS 115, HEAT 107: At Cleveland, LeBron James scored 41 points and Donyell Marshall added a season-high 25 for the Cavaliers, handing coach Pat Riley his first loss since taking over the Heat on Monday.

The Heat had won four straight, including three with Riley after Stan Van Gundy resigned Monday. Cleveland has won two straight after dropping seven of nine.

SPURS 90, KINGS 89: At San Antonio, Michael Finley hit a 20-foot jumper with 2.5 seconds left to give San Antonio a win over Sacramento.

Mike Bibby, who made two long shots late in the game, had a chance to win it for the Kings, but his 3-point heave over Tim Duncan and Tony Parker went off the back of the rim.

BULLS 118, CELTICS 86: At Chicago, Michael Sweetney had 24 points and seven rebounds and Chris Duhon added 22 points and eight assists to lead Chicago over Boston.

Chicago, coming off a 28-point loss at Detroit on Friday night, hit a club-record nine 3-pointers in the third quarter and was 14-of-17 overall from 3-point range. The Bulls, who shot 59.7 percent overall, scored a season-high 39 points in the third.