Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 1/23

Game 1: Monday, January 23rd
Game 2: Wednesday, February 1st

Bucks 84

(23-22, 10-13 away)

Rockets 86

(16-29, 5-15 home)

    Coverage: FSSW

    7:30 PM ET, February 1, 2006

    Toyota Center, Houston, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIL 27 14 25 1884
    HOU 15 34 28 986

    Top Performers

    Mil: B. Simmons 26 Pts, 1 Reb, 1 Blk

    Hou: Y. Ming 21 Pts, 13 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Blk

    McGrady scores 22, Yao 21 as Rockets top Bucks

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Once Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming overcame their problems, the Houston Rockets got past the Milwaukee Bucks.

    McGrady scored 22 points despite a slow start because of his ailing back, Yao added 21 despite a difficult fourth quarter, and the Rockets rallied from an early 13-point deficit to beat the Bucks 86-84 on Wednesday night.

    "Tracy got going pretty well after a while, but the first half his back was quite bothersome," coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "Obviously, Yao had some fatigue problems. He never could quite get going in the fourth quarter."

    McGrady has been out three times and missed 13 games because of back spasms this season.

    "It was just tight tonight," McGrady said. "It wasn't any pain. It was one of those days when you roll out of bed and your body's sore and your back is tight. I couldn't get loose and I just couldn't seem to get anything right in the first half."

    McGrady, the NBA's fifth-leading scorer at 26.9 points per game, was 1-for-6 from the field and had only six points in the first half as Houston took a 49-41 lead.

    But he warmed up in the third quarter, shooting 4-of-7 and scoring 13 points as Houston led by as many as 13.

    Yao, in his second game back after missing 21 games due to surgery on his left big toe, also had 13 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season. But he scored only eight points in the second half, two in the fourth quarter.

    "I think I'm still not in great shape now because it's only been two games," Yao said. "We struggled scoring in the fourth quarter and let them back in the game. But we played pretty good defense the last couple of minutes."

    Milwaukee went on a late 11-2 run to pull to 86-84 when T.J Ford hit one of two free throws with 37 seconds to play. But Bobby Simmons missed a 25-footer with 3 seconds left and Houston got the rebound.

    The Bucks were playing without leading scorer Michael Redd, who missed the game with back spasms. Redd, averaging 25.3 points per game, is day to day. Maurice Williams missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle.

    "I really liked the way we competed in the second half," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said. "With Michael and Mo out, I was really proud of the way our team competed."

    Simmons hit a career-high five 3-pointers and led the Bucks with 26 points, matching his season high.

    "I didn't even realize it," Simmons said. "It was just in the flow of the game and our guys were looking for me.

    "I thought the last one was going in, but you make some and others you don't. If it goes in, we win the game."

    Houston opened the game by scoring the first six points, but Milwaukee then went on a 19-2 run. The Bucks finished the first quarter leading 27-15 as Jiri Welsch, who replaced Redd in the starting lineup, and Simmons each had seven points.

    Led by rookie Chuck Hayes' eight points and seven from Yao, the Rockets went on an 18-2 run to start the second quarter for a 33-29 lead with 6:42 to play in the half.

    After scoring only two points in the first quarter, Yao finished the half with 13, including an improbable no-look layup he flipped up under the basket as he fell backward to the floor.

    Game notes

    Rockets forward Stromile Swift was placed on the inactive list for the game after arriving late for the team's morning shootaround. ... Houston is only 5-15 at home and had lost nine of its previous 10 at Toyota Center. ... Milwaukee hit only 3-of-16 from the field in the second quarter. The three baskets were a Bucks' season low for a second quarter. Their previous low was four against Denver on Nov. 4. ... Simmons shot 5-of-9 on 3s.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 84 86
    FGM-FGA 28-75 (.373) 32-75 (.427)
    3PM-3PA 9-24 (.375) 3-13 (.231)
    FTM-FTA 19-29 (.655) 19-23 (.826)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-38 10-48
    Assists 17 21
    Turnovers 11 12
    Steals 5 8
    Blocks 4 3
    Fast Break Points 12 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 24 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 13 13

    Top Performers

    Bobby Simmons Simmons
    Points: 26
    Reb: 1
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Yao Ming Ming
    Points: 21
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1