Yao's total was his best of the season and brought the Rockets their fourth straight victory. He made 14 of 21 shots from the field and eight of nine from the line
New York, which was trying to win back-to-back games for the first time in six weeks, was led by 21 points from Jamal Crawford.
Houston was nursing a one-point lead after three quarters, but embarked the fourth with a 12-2 run. Alston scored seven points during that rush and New York Coach Isiah Thomas was ejected during that stretch for bumping official Eric Lewis.