HOUSTON -- Tracy McGrady figured his third career triple-double was long overdue.
"It's good to finally get one as a Rocket after flirting with them for so long," McGrady said. "It's a good accomplishment. Those things are hard to come by."
After a cold start, McGrady finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. He managed to hit only 3 of his first 15 shots and realized the problem early.
"I wasn't trying to be as aggressive offensively," McGrady said. "I was trying to do whatever it takes to build confidence for my teammates on offense. I didn't have a rhythm on the offensive end, so I just did other things to try and help us win."
Shane Battier was one of five Rockets who had 13 or more points and he liked what he saw.
"We're at our best when we're balanced like that," said Battier, who had 13. "In the end, a balanced team will have more success. That's what we're striving to get."
Reserve Bonzi Wells added a season-high 24 for Houston, which has won four of six since losing six straight.
Paul Gasol led Memphis with 23 points and 12 rebounds while Damon Stoudamire had 19 points. The Grizzlies, who have lost eight of 12, couldn't believe this was McGrady's first triple-double as a Rocket.
"It really surprised me," Stoudamire said. "I asked him on the court and he said it was his first one. He can score rebound and pass the ball so well."
Mike Miller, who had 14 points, agreed.
"It surprises me because of all he does for his team," Miller said. "Tracy is one of the toughest guys to cover in this league but also for what he does for his team to make everybody else play better."
The Grizzlies came back from a 13-point halftime deficit to get within seven at one point in the third quarter.
But McGrady warmed up in the third by scoring seven points. Yao added 13 as Houston pulled back to an 85-71 lead after three.
- McGrady's other triple-doubles came against Philadelphia (22-11-11) on Feb. 23, 2002 and New Jersey (46-13-10) on Feb. 23, 2003.
- Grizzlies C Darko Milicic didn't start due to a strained left ankle. Gasol moved to the center spot and Juan Carlos Navarro started at forward. Milicic, who missed seven games due to a strained left thumb, had been back only two games.
- Yao missed his second free throw of the game, ending a string of 27 straight. It started in the second quarter of the Nov. 26 game at the Los Angeles Clippers.
- Stoudamire equaled his season high for 3-pointers with four.