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NBA Game Summary - Milwaukee at Houston

(Wednesday, December 31st)

Final Score: Houston 85, Milwaukee 81

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Yao Ming finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds, as the Houston Rockets held on for an 85-81 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Luis Scola had 11 points and 10 boards for Houston, which has won two of its last three. Ron Artest scored 15 points in the win, while Tracy McGrady ended with 10 assists to go with seven points.

Milwaukee had five players reach double figures, led by Michael Redd with 20 points. Richard Jefferson scored 16, and Luke Ridnour filled the scoresheet with 11 points, 11 assists and seven boards, but the Bucks fell short for the second time in their last three contests.

Houston led by five after three quarters, and went up 71-61 after consecutive buckets from Scola and Carl Landry about three minutes into the final stanza. The Rockets continued to lead by double digits until Milwaukee got back in the game with a nine-point surge.

Charlie Bell had the initial basket of the run and later added a layup, and Redd closed it out with a three-pointer to get the Bucks within 74-72 with four minutes remaining.

More than a minute later, Redd had a free throw and followed it with a jumper to trim Houston's lead to 78-77 with just over two minutes left.

Neither team scored until the final minute, as McGrady missed a pair of free throws, and each team missed several shots. Approaching the half-minute mark, Artest drove into the lane and was fouled, then made both shots for an 80-77 Houston edge.

After Ridnour missed a three for the Bucks, Aaron Brooks got to the line and drained both attempts for a five-point Rockets edge. A quick bucket from Jefferson made it a three-point game again, but Rafer Alston got to the line with 16.5 on the clock, sinking just one.

Jefferson then missed a triple attempt to keep it a two-possession affair, leading to two made free throws from Alston with 6.9 ticks left that put Houston ahead 85-79, and the Rockets held on for the win from there.

The Rockets had a 27-22 lead after one quarter, and increased their lead at halftime to 47-36 after holding Milwaukee to 14 points in the second quarter.

The Bucks then wiped out their deficit with a 12-0 run shortly into the third quarter. Andrew Bogut's hook shot capped it, and got Milwaukee within 49-48. The teams traded baskets the rest of the stanza, though Houston still had the lead, 65-60, going to the fourth quarter.

Game Notes

Houston played without forward Shane Battier, who is day-to-day with a foot injury...The Rockets ended a three-game homestand with a 2-1 mark...Milwaukee hosts Charlotte on Friday, and on the same day Houston begins a five-game road trip in Toronto...Landry had 14 points for the Rockets...Bogut had 11 points for the Bucks, and Bell had 15 off the bench.

12/31 21:50:31 ET

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