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Free Throws The Difference As Rockets Down Nets In China, 91-81

Thankfully, Yao Ming's return to China yielded a win for the international star's ballclub.

Yao had nine points in 19 minutes of action Wednesday night as the Houston Rockets managed to overcome a turnover-ridden game en route to a 91-81 victory over the New Jersey Nets in Beijing. Perhaps the difference in the game can be found at the free throw line, where the Rockets missed only one of their attempts compared to New Jersey's 17/25 performance.

Kevin Martin led the Rockets with 18 points, and point guard Aaron Brooks added 17 of his own. The Nets' Brook Lopez led all scorers with 22 points. Second-year New Jersey forward Terrence Williams netted 20 points off the bench.

The Rockets' bench made up for the absence of Luis Scola, who is home with his wife as the two are expecting a child very soon. Chase Budinger had 12 points on 5-13 shooting, Jared Jeffries also had 12 points, and Patrick Patterson chipped in with six points and nine rebounds.

Houston plays New Jersey once again on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. CT. Until then, the Rockets have plenty of time to go sightseeing. And, you know, practice some basketball here and there.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.