HOUSTON (AP) - For the first time in 12 years, the Houston Rockets advanced in the NBA playoffs.
Ron Artest scored 27 points, Yao Ming had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Houston reached the second round for the first time since 1997, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 92-76 in game 6 on Thursday night.
Aaron Brooks scored 13 points and Shane Battier tied a career playoff-high with nine rebounds as the Rockets won for the first time in their last seven first-round series. They lost game 6s the last two seasons, both to Utah.
Houston put this one away with a big second quarter and moves on to play the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night at the Staples Center. The Lakers won all four meetings in the regular season.
(Copyright 2009 By The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)