Rockets
Warriors
119 - 108 Final
  for this game

McGrady returns, leads Rockets to win

Dec 13, 2008 - 7:32 AM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Christmas came early for the Houston Rockets.

McGrady scored 24 points in his surprising return to the lineup, leading the Rockets to a 119-108 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday.

After missing seven games while recovering from a sore left knee, a lingering effect of offseason surgery, McGrady led the team in points and added 10 rebounds and nine assists. He was expected to be out until at least Christmas.

"I felt pretty good," McGrady said. "The second half I came out a little rusty but, for the most part, I felt pretty good making shots and rebounding.

"I was trying to do a little extra for us tonight to get a win. I was working to try to get back. I was in a nice little groove tonight."

Yao Ming had 19 points and 14 rebounds while Luis Scola contributed 19 points for the Rockets, who recorded their fourth win in five games.

Andris Biedrins collected 18 points and 12 boards as the Warriors failed to earn their first three-game win streak this season.

C.J. Watson scored 17 points for Golden State, which could not overcome the Rockets' surge just before halftime.

With Yao on the bench and the score tied 35-35 with 9:40 remaining in the second quarter, Houston went on an 11-0 run, forging an insurmountable lead with 6:32 to go in the opening 24 minutes.

Carl Landry scored eight of his 18 points in the second quarter as the Rockets carried a 61-50 advantage into the locker rooms.

"We just did a good job of moving the ball and we executed our plays and did a great job of finishing. Great teams do that," Landry said. "In order to win, you've got to execute as well as play defense the whole 48 minutes."

Houston made consecutive baskets to start the third quarter and opened up a 15-point bulge with 10:51 remaining.

The Warriors were 1-of-7 from the arc in the frame and 4-of-22 for the game as Houston continued to expand its lead.

"We definitely struggled with the long ball and usually it flows," said Warriors guard Jamal Crawford, who was 1-of-7 from the field and finished with four points.

"We didn't make enough shots to win and missed too many defensive assignments," Golden State coach Don Nelson said. "But I thought we played hard. We tried and did a lot of good things and moved the ball."

A 3-pointer by Rafer Alston pushed the Rockets' cushion to 76-56 with 6:48 to go in the third.

With the game seemingly decided, the Warriors' reserves went on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to 109-98 with 4:31 remaining in the game.

Scola's putback layup kept the advantage at 13 points with 3:33 left to play and the Rockets coasted down the stretch.

"We got the lead going into halftime and we had to keep playing defensively because if we make them take tough shots, we're going to open (the lead) up," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "I thought they were going to have a hard time trying to stop us at the basket."