|March 7 - Houston Rockets center Yao Ming returned to action after missing 32 games for a fractured1 right leg on March 5.
The absence of more than two months took its toll2 on Yao, but only for three quarters. He erupted in the fourth and helped to cut a 14-point deficit3 to within two near the end of the game, but the rally4 came too late, and the Rockets lost to Cleveland Cavaliers 85-91.
"I didn't play long tonight. I mean, 27 minutes, that's not my average (34.6) because coach would not play me if I did not feel good. He said he would control my minutes by how the game was going and how I was going. I understand; everything for the team," said Yao, "So the minutes I played in the first three quarters got me feeling regular, so in the fourth quarter, when I stepped out, I made a couple shots and it was a big help."
March 6 is the day of Jingzhe (the Waking of Insects), one of the 24 solar terms that divide the traditional Chinese lunar year. From this day on, little creatures that were hibernating5 are supposed to come back to life.
With Yao's return, the energy seems to be back with the Rockets, too. "In the fourth quarter, it was a little bit better. But I'm just not up to it all. I felt the team played with high energy in the fourth quarter, and I could feel the energy of my teammates. I can't wait for the next game."