HOUSTON, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Gary Payton, who has stopped talking about off-court affairs, dished out a career-high 18 assists and scored 20 points Tuesday night to lead the unbeaten Seattle SuperSonics to a 104-97 victory over the Houston Rockets.
In a practically flawless floor game, Payton committed only one turnover late in the fourth quarter. The perennial All-Star also grabbed seven rebounds.
With 6,968 career assists, Payton moved past Hall of Famer Bob Cousy into 11th place on the all-time list. Cousy had 6,956 assists in his career.
Payton's passing allowed five other SuperSonics to score in double figures, including Rashard Lewis with 18 points. Lewis also led Seattle with 12 rebounds.
The Sonics maintained their perfect record, keeping pace with Dallas and New Jersey as the NBA's only unbeaten teams. Seattle is 4-0 for the sixth time in team history.
Houston's Steve Francis just missed a triple-double with 33 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
Coming off an eight-point game on Saturday against Toronto, rookie center Yao Ming did not score in 15 minutes for Houston. The 7-5 Yao has been held scoreless in two of four games.