Rockets lose to Hawks

ATLANTA (AP) — For the 12th time this season, the Houston Rockets lost without Tracy McGrady.

For that, the lowly Atlanta Hawks are grateful.

McGrady missed his fourth straight game with back spasms, and the Hawks took advantage to beat the short-handed Rockets 94-83 Monday, ending a four-game losing streak.

The Rockets suffered their sixth straight loss, including the last four without McGrady, who was with the team but couldn’t play as he continues to recover from back spasms.

Houston fell to 0-12 without McGrady this season.

McGrady worked out before the game in what team officials said was normal conditioning work, but the Hawks had good reason to expect the high-scoring star would play.

On Nov. 29, McGrady returned after missing five games to help the Rockets beat the Hawks in Houston, ending a seven-game losing streak.

Al Harrington had 28 points as the Hawks became the last NBA team to win 10 games.

Rockets center Dikembe Mutombo, averaging only 2.3 points per game, had 14 points and 10 rebounds. He matched his season high of eight points in the first period but played only two minutes in the final period.

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