HOUSTON - Heading into a game with the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale had his eye on a few matchups. . A specific one that caught his eye was getting Dwight Howard in the post.The plan worked.With San Antonio missing big bodies Tim Duncan, who was rested along with fellow veteran Manu Ginobili, and Tiago Splitter (right calf tightness), Howard dominated the interior from the opening tip, scoring 32 points and grabbing 16 rebounds in leading Houston to a 98-81 victory.We looked at some stuff (on tape) and we got him in the post, McHale said. I thought (Howard) rolled hard and got some late at the rim. He was really devastating on those high passes. Its important that he gets in a rhythm and plays. It doesnt matter who is out there playing for them, hes got to play well for us.The win runs Houstons record to a league best 6-0 while dropping San Antonios mark to 2-2.With no Duncan or Splitter inside Houston had a decided advantage down low and exploited it from the beginning, feeding Howard at every turn. Whether on the pick-and-roll, at the elbow, or on alley-oop passes, Howard was the target and had a double-double — 20 points and 12 rebounds — by halftime as he exploited a vulnerable Spurs interior defence where Matt Bonner, Jeff Ayers, and Aron Baynes struggled to keep up.We are a sum-of-the-parts team, Popovich said. We have to have all our parts to be at our best. We cant rely on one player. We have to do it as a group. If we have injuries, we need our full bench to continue to play at our best.When Howard was not scoring inside, James Harden filled the stat sheet, adding 20 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Rockets. While he had his share of points, Harden was clear after the game about the advantage of having a force inside.Its tough with the best big man in the league rolling down the paint, Harden said of Howard. Hes a lob target, and you have shooters around him. Its tough to guard it.As the Spurs struggled to keep Howard from gutting them in the middle, they had little consistency when they had the ball. They started the game sluggish, going scoreless in the first six minutes.While San Antonio rebounded and pulled to within 18-15 at the end of the first quarter, that was as close as the Spurs would get. The tough night finished with the defending NBA champs, who trailed by as many as 31, shooting just 34.4 per cent from the field.It was a bad night tonight and I couldnt hit a shot, Tony Parker, who finished with just six points, said. Defensively, we did OK, but we never got into an offensive rhythm.Cory Joseph led the Spurs with 18 points off the bench and Baynes had 12 points and 11 rebounds.TIP-INSSpurs: Marco Belinelli was an injury scratch due to a strained right groin and was replaced by Bonner. . San Antonio started 0-for-15 on 3-pointers, making their first with 7:02 to go in the third quarter, and finished 2 for 20 from beyond the arc.Rockets: Terrence Jones missed his second straight game with a leg contusion. . Patrick Beverley missed the game due to a strained hamstring and was replaced by Isaiah Canaan, who scored 12 points along with Jason Terrys 16 points. . Houston has now won six games over the Spurs dating to last season.WINNING BIGHouston has won each of its first six games by 10 points or more. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Rockets are the first team to accomplish the feat since the 1985-86 Denver Nuggets.DEFENDING THE ARCHouston came into the game holding opponents to 29.1 per cent from beyond the arc. That number will improve after holding the Spurs to 2-for-20 shooting from 3-point range.UP NEXTSpurs: Host New Orleans on Saturday.Rockets: Host Golden State on Saturday. . It looked like being another miserable day for Moyes when Ashley Westwood put Villa in front from a 13th-minute free kick. But Rooney headed United level seven minutes later, and the striker netted his 16th of the season for the struggling champions from the penalty spot before halftime. . But the pitcher overcame an early base-running blunder and gave up one run on seven hits in six innings to lead the San Francisco Giants to a 7-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night. . PAUL, Minn.PORTLAND, Ore. -- Deron Williams took a moment to snap a few photos of Brooklyn teammate Jason Collins at their shootaround in Portland. He couldnt help it: The NBAs first openly gay player was surrounded by a throng of cameras and microphones, and at least for the next week or so, Collins will be the face of the Nets wherever they go. The 7-footer was signed to a 10-day contract on Sunday. He played in a 108-102 victory over the Lakers that night, with two rebounds, five fouls and a steal in just under 11 minutes. Before Wednesday nights game against the Trail Blazers, Collins said he accepted the both the interest and scrutiny that has come with his return to the league. "Im back playing basketball, so of course Im enjoying this," he said. Collins quietly played seven minutes in the 124-80 loss to the Blazers on Wednesday night, entering after Nets coach Jason Kidd had pulled his starters in the fourth quarter and many of the fans had already headed for the exits. He attempted one field goal. After Portland, the Nets visit Denver, where the attention will become even more intense. The family of slain Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard is expected to make the drive for the game Thursday night against the Nuggets. Shepard was tortured and murdered in 1998 because he was gay. Collins wears his No. 98 jersey in Shepards honour. He wants to keep the details of any meeting with Judy Shepard to himself. "Obviously, its extremely special and Im very much looking forward to meeting them," he said. Collins wore the No. 98 with both the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards for Shepard even before coming out. The jersey wasnt yet ready for the game against the LLakers (he wore a spare jersey with his name hastily added), but he wore No. . 98 against the Blazers. "We were very touched," Judy Shepard told the New York Daily News about the jersey. "For him to make that tribute to Matt was meaningful to us." The jersey was already the biggest seller of the day Tuesday on NBAStore.com, and the NBA said it was selling well again Wednesday. The league didnt provide the number of jerseys sold. For all the attention hes getting, Collins is not a distraction for the Nets, who are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, inside the playoff cutoff. "He understands how to play the game the right way, and we saw that in L.A.," Kidd said. Collins publicly announced he was gay last May, and he joins several other athletes to come out, including Robbie Roberts of Major League Soccers Los Angeles Galaxy, Brittney Griner of the WNBAs Phoenix Mercury, and NFL draft hopeful Michael Sam, an All-American defensive end who played at Missouri. Since coming out, Collins has become an advocate for LGBT rights. He was in Portland just last week, appearing before a group thats advocating to get a measure on the November ballot that would legalize gay marriage on Oregon. In 2004, voters passed a measure that amended the state constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Campaign organizers hope to make Oregon the first state to overturn a constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage. Collins said for now, however, he just wants to focus on the Nets. "There are only so many ways you can write the story or tell the story," he said, "and then it will just be about basketball." ' ' '