Scola, Brooks lift Rockets over Bucks 101-98 in OT

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HOUSTON (AP)—The Houston Rockets are getting used to winning home games in overtime.

Luis Scola(notes) scored a season-high 27 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, Aaron Brooks(notes) dished out 10 assists to offset poor shooting and the Rockets beat the Milwaukee Bucks 101-98 in overtime Monday.

Carl Landry(notes) and Chase Budinger(notes) scored 12 points apiece for the Rockets, who have won the last 10 meetings with the Bucks in Houston. Brooks went 5 for 21 from the field, including 1 of 7 from 3-point range.

The Rockets beat Minnesota in three overtimes last Wednesday, and they’re 5-1 in overtime games at the Toyota Center since the 2006-07 season.

“I wish all our games would go into overtime,” Brooks said. “I don’t know what our record is, but it’s pretty good. It’ll be good to win in regulation, but we all feel pretty comfortable in overtime right now.”

Brandon Jennings(notes) scored 25 points and Andrew Bogut(notes) had 18 points and 17 rebounds for the Bucks, who return home after dropping five of six games on a 10-day road trip.

Milwaukee trailed 79-73 after three quarters, but Bogut converted an alley-oop dunk and Luke Ridnour(notes) hit consecutive jumpers to tie it at 84.

The teams were knotted at 89 when Brooks lost the ball on a drive and Ridnour finished a fast break with a layup with 1:38 left to put the Bucks in front.

Scola’s free throws with 1:04 remaining tied it again, and both teams turned it over on their next possessions. Jennings missed an off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime.

“His shot came off flat and didn’t go down,” Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said. “We could’ve had a better look.”

Landry hit a jumper from the wing and converted a three-point play in the first minute of overtime for a 96-91 lead. He blocked Jennings on a drive and Scola swished a shot from the free-throw line for a seven-point lead.

Carlos Delfino(notes) sank a 3 with 1:47 left to draw Milwaukee within four, and Bogut’s tip-in with 33 seconds to go cut the deficit to 100-98. Brooks made one of two free throws with 9.2 seconds left for a three-point Houston lead, and Ridnour missed a 3-pointer from the corner at the buzzer.

The Bucks are 2-4 in overtime this season.

“I’m getting tired of the fact that our team just keeps fighting,” said Ridnour, who scored 14 points. “We want to get the win. We fought back in regulation and couldn’t make the shots.”

Houston coach Rick Adelman, meanwhile, was unhappy with his team’s execution throughout the game. The Rockets conceded that their defense broke down on the final play—even though they knew Ridnour was going to get the ball.

“We had a brain freeze,” Brooks said. “Luckily, they missed the shot.”

The Rockets shot 42 percent (36 of 86) and went 6 for 24 from 3-point range. They won for only the third time in eight games.

“I don’t think we are as connected as we were earlier in the year,” forward Shane Battier(notes) said. “There are different reasons for that, but this is the time to turn it around.”

Jennings had seven points and two assists in the first five minutes to help the Bucks build an 18-8 lead. Milwaukee hit 13 of its first 18 shots and led 34-27 after one quarter.

Houston’s bench sparked the Rockets’ rally in the second quarter. Backup point guard Kyle Lowry’s(notes) driving layup cut Milwaukee’s lead to 41-34 and opened a 24-6 run.

Budinger sank back-to-back 3-pointers and finished the spurt with a fast-break layup to put Houston ahead 56-47. The Bucks shot 8 of 22 in the second quarter (36 percent) and trailed 58-51 at the break.

The Rockets handed out 17 assists in the first half, six by Brooks.

Houston hit only six of 22 shots in the third quarter, but still led by six because the Bucks hit only nine of 22.

NOTES: The Bucks signed G-F Jerry Stackhouse(notes) for the rest of this season, and Skiles said the two-time All-Star would be activated for Wednesday’s game against Toronto. “We’re not signing him to be on the inactive list,” Skiles said. “We’ll activate him right away, and get him in a game. That’s our plan.” … The Rockets reached 20 assists for the 10th straight game. … Bogut has double-doubles in his last five games and eight of his last 10.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Milwaukee
A. Bogut Andrew Bogut
9-16,  18 Pts
17 Rebs, 4 Assists
 Houston
L. Scola Luis Scola
10-18,  27 Pts
15 Rebs, 3 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
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Monday, Jan 18