McGrady’s 41 Lift Rockets Over Bucks
Houston 97, Milwaukee 80
MILWAUKEE, Jan. 23 (Ticker) -- Tracy McGrady continued his scoring attack against the Milwaukee Bucks.
McGrady scored 18 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter and David Wesley added 17 as the Houston Rockets coasted to a 97-80 victory over the Bucks.
"I'm just in a nice rhythm right now," said McGrady, who also grabbed eight rebounds. "It's really a great feeling from where I started at the beginning of the year with my back injury. I'm just playing with a great deal of confidence right now."
Taking the offense upon himself, the 6-8 forward made 17-of-32 shots, including 3-of-7 attempts from 3-point range.
"You can't explain it, he's the best road player in the league," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said.
Houston held a 76-75 advantage before McGrady took over, scoring 14 straight points and 18 in a 19-0 run that gave the Rockets a commanding lead. McGrady connected on 8-of-12 shots, including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc in the quarter.
"Some of those shots he made took the air out of us," said Bucks guard Maurice Williams, who scored just two points. "If we're not scoring on the other end, then he's just putting daggers into us repeatedly."
In the fourth quarter, the Bucks managed just nine points and went scoreless for more than 9 1/2 minutes at one point. Jermaine Jackson ended the drought when he split a pair of free throws with 1:25 remaining.
"Obviously we had a hard time scoring, we scored four points in ten minutes," Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said. "That's what Houston wanted to do, keep it close, get to the fourth quarter and have McGrady take over."
Michael Redd, the Bucks' leading scorer, had all 21 of his points in the first three quarters.
Juwan Howard scored 12 points and Rafer Alston contributed 11 and seven assists for Houston, which shot 47 percent (39-of-83) and made 9-of-26 from behind the arc.
Bobby Simmons scored 16 points and rookie Andrew Bogut added 10 and seven rebounds for the Bucks, who shot 37 percent (27-of-73) overall.