McGrady's comeback yields big return for Rockets

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Tracy McGrady tested his sore left knee during a recent practice, pronounced himself fit and then produced one of his best offensive nights of the season.

McGrady just missed a triple-double in his return to the court, Yao Ming had 19 points and 14 rebounds, and the Houston Rockets beat the Golden State Warriors 119-108 Friday night.

"I felt pretty good," McGrady said. "The second half I came out a little rusty, but for the most part I was feeling good, making shots and rebounding. I was trying to do a little extra for us because of how hard I was working to try and get back. I got in a nice little groove."

McGrady, who missed the last seven games with soreness in his left knee, had 24 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Rockets improved to 15-8, their best record after 23 games since the 1996-97 team started 21-2. Luis Scola had 19 points and Carl Landry scored 18.

"We did a decent job at maintaining our concentration defensively and we attacked the basket," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "I was hoping to get [McGrady] out of the game earlier but in some ways if he can play through it, it's OK."

Andris Biedrins had 18 points and 12 rebounds in his ninth double-double in 10 home games for the Warriors, who had their two-game winning streak snapped. Anthony Randolph had his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. C.J. Watson added 17 points.

"Yao demands a lot of attention and he's one of the best big men out there," Warriors guard Jamal Crawford said. "Then you have McGrady, Scola, all those guys you've got to worry about."

The Rockets took control after outscoring Golden State 20-7 during a six-minute stretch of the second quarter to take a 61-50 halftime advantage.

"We just did a good job of moving the ball," Landry said. "We executed our plays and did a great job of finishing."

Anthony Morrow also scored 15 points for the Warriors (7-16), who are off to their worst start since opening 6-17 in 2000-01. He also tried to guard McGrady.

"He's a guy I looked up to growing up," Morrow said. "It was fun but at the same time I took a business approach."

Stephen Jackson, playing with a sprained left hand, missed all seven of his shots in the third quarter, finished with eight points, and did not play in the final period. Golden State fell to 0-11 when he fails to score at least 20 points.

Houston, which has a four-game winning streak over the Warriors, took a 92-75 lead into the fourth quarter.

Game notes
Watson will miss Wednesday's game at Indiana to attend the funeral of his uncle, who passed away in Las Vegas recently. G DeMarcus Nelson, inactive for 14 consecutive games, will be available on Wednesday. ... Rockets F Ron Artest missed his second game of the last three with a sprained right ankle. ... Houston G Brent Barry practiced on Thursday but will continue to miss games with a torn calf muscle. ... Golden State F's Ronny Turiaf and Brandan Wright both missed the game because of the flu. ... The Rockets recorded season highs with a 93.8 free throw percentage and 26 assists.

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