HOUSTON -- With every shot in the preseason, Michael Redd feels a little more like himself again.
Redd says he's still moving cautiously after undergoing knee surgery in March. He hit 7 of 10 shots in 21 minutes in Houston, a solid step forward in his recovery.
"I didn't worry much about my knee," Redd said. "I wasn't thinking about it. I've been working hard, man, trying to get my rhythm. I've been trying to find it in practice, extra shooting and it went well."
The Bucks play in Chicago on Tuesday and Redd was eager to test his knee in the morning, following the long flight.
"I'm happy where I am right now, whether I'm making shots or not," Redd said. "Just to be on the court, moving without any pain, that means a lot."
David Andersen scored 17 points, Kyle Lowry scored 12 and Carl Landry added 11 for Houston.
Luis Scola had eight points and 11 rebounds in just 13 minutes of action. He sprained his right ankle late in the second quarter and didn't play in the second half.
Scola said the injury was minor and he could've returned.
The Bucks led by as many as 19 in the third quarter, but the Rockets' reserves chipped away at the lead and Lowry's free throw with 3:28 left in the game cut the deficit to 86-85.
Roko Ukic converted a three-point play and Delfino stole a bad pass by Lowry and drove for a layup to push the lead to six. Delfino sank a 3-pointer in the final minute to clinch the win for the Bucks.
Milwaukee went 11-for-30 from 3-point range. The Bucks hit seven 3-pointers and tallied 10 assists in the second quarter alone.
"That's an excellent sign for us," Redd said. "We have an excellent team as far as passing the ball. If we continue to do that, we'll get more open shots."
Scola hit his first four shots and grabbed six rebounds in the opening seven minutes to carry Houston to an early lead. The Rockets hit 10 of their first 15 shots, including an alley-oop from Aaron Brooks to Trevor Ariza.
Redd scored 14 points in the opening quarter and the Rockets led only 28-26. Redd was the only starter on the floor for either team as the second quarter began.
The Bucks built a 12-point lead, with Redd assisting on consecutive 3-pointers by Delfino and Ukic. Houston missed six of its first eight shots in the quarter before Coach Rick Adelman started reinserting his starters.
Milwaukee shot 50 percent (22 of 44) in the first half and led 63-50 at the break.
Ariza fell on his back early in the third quarter and briefly left the game. Houston had four turnovers in the first six minutes after the break and the Bucks stretched the lead to 73-54.
Houston mounted a 16-5 run to cut the deficit to eight by the start of the fourth quarter.
"To our credit, the guys really dug down and clawed all the way back and almost had a chance to win," Andersen said. "The fight of the team was a good thing."
Tracy McGrady, recovering from offseason microfracture surgery on his left knee, sat on the Rockets' bench in street clothes.