Yao courtside to watch Rockets beat Lakers

Updated: 2012-03-22 07:56

(China Daily)

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 Yao courtside to watch Rockets beat Lakers

Former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming (left) greets Los Angeles Lakers' Metta World Peace, a former teammate, before the teams' NBA game on Tuesday in Houston. Pat Sullivan / Associated Press

Yao Ming watched the Houston Rockets courtside on Tuesday for the first time since retiring from basketball last year.

He sat with former Rocket Robert Horry, and they watched their old team beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-104.

The 2.29-meter Chinese center's career was cut short by injuries, mostly to his left foot.

He said he's healthy now, "good enough for walking, but not good enough for playing basketball".

Yao seemed content and had no regrets he and Tracy McGrady could not deliver an NBA championship.

"We had this chance before, and we missed it," Yao said.

"There's no 'if.' We just need to face ourselves, and say we did our best and walk away."

During the match, Kobe Bryant gave Goran Dragic a quick hug after Houston's pesky point guard led the Rockets past the Lakers.

Dragic hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 28 seconds left and finished with 16 points and 13 assists in Houston's comeback victory.

Down by nine with 5 minutes left, the Rockets had a 12-0 run to take the lead. Dragic scored 10 points in the final quarter, putting the Rockets ahead for good with his second 3 of the game.

Houston held on and Bryant made a point to meet Dragic at midcourt after the final buzzer.

"He just said, 'Good game, I wish you luck'," Dragic said. "Nothing special."

Associated Press in Houston

(China Daily 03/22/2012 page23)