Yao scores 22 to lift Rockets over Bucks

Updated: 2006-10-19 13:38

Yao Ming's minutes increased and so did his offensive output.

Houston Rockets' Yao Ming (11), of China, looks to shoot as Milwaukee Bucks' Brian Skinner (54) defends during the first quarter of their NBA preseason basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006 in Houston. [AP]

Yao scored 22 points and second-round pick Steve Novak added 17 points, including five 3-pointers, as the Houston Rockets cruised to a 111-97 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in a preseason game.

After contributing eight points on 3-of-9 shooting and eight rebounds in 15 minutes of his preseason debut Tuesday against Dallas, Yao saw nearly double the amount of time on Wednesday, converting 8-of-21 attempts and all six foul shots. He sat out the first two exhibition contests due to toenail surgery.

Yao, who also grabbed seven rebounds, sparked an 8-0 run to end the first half with a pair of free throws and capped it with a layup for a 60-51 cushion at the break.

Kirk Snyder had 15 points and Rafer Alston chipped in 12 for the Rockets, who made 14 3-pointers. Tracy McGrady, Bonzi Wells and Shane Battier did not play.

Michael Redd scored 21 points in 20 minutes for the Bucks, who sank 11-of-19 shots from the arc. Lynn Greer netted 15 points, Mike Harris added 14 and second-round selection David Noel had four steals but missed all three shots in 23 minutes.