Shane Battier netted a season-high 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds for the Rockets, who also received 19 points from Von Wafer and 18 from Ron Artest. Luis Scola totaled 10 points and 11 boards, while Rafer Alston chipped in nine points and 11 assists, as Houston started the post All-Star break with its second consecutive victory.
The Rockets overcame the absence of star Tracy McGrady (left knee) to beat the Nets for the sixth straight time. Houston set a season-high by making 15 three-point shots and they had 27 assists, another season-best. Houston also outrebounded the Nets, 56-30.
Vince Carter had 30 points for New Jersey, which has lost three in a row following a four-game win streak. Brook Lopez ended with 21 points, nine rebounds and four blocks for the Nets.
The teams played just two days prior to the NBA trading deadline, and reports earlier Tuesday indicated the Nets were shopping Carter, possibly to the Rockets or Trail Blazers.
The Rockets scored 12 in a row during the opening quarter to grab a 22-16 lead with Artest's layup capping the burst. An Artest three-ball provided a 27-17 margin going into the second.
A jumper from Lopez had the Nets within 30-25, but the Rockets pulled away with an ensuing 18-5 flurry. Artest's three-pointer ended that push with nearly three minutes left in the half, and the Rockets headed to the locker room with a 56-40 advantage.
Houston continued to pull away in the third, moving to an 84-65 cushion heading to the fourth. Nearly everything was falling for the Rockets, even on errant plays. In one instance, Scola's entry pass to Yao went off the center's hands and into the basket, even though the Chinese superstar had his back to the bucket.
A three-pointer from Brent Barry expanded the lead to 105-80 with three minutes remaining.