HOUSTON -- Houston Rockets second-year forward Terrence Jones had performed so splendidly throughout that his shot hunting down the stretch Saturday night was a deserved reward for his excellence.

The sheepish grin that accompanied his affirmative answer to the question of whether he was gunning for a 40-point night was just, too.

Jones scored a career-high 36 points with an exceptional shooting display and posted his sixth double-double in nine games as Houston ran to a 114-104 win over the Milwaukee Bucks at the Toyota Center.

Jones matched his career high of 25 points in the first half and converted 12 consecutive shots from the field during one stretch, including his first 3-pointer since Dec. 21 early in the fourth quarter. He grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked two shots and, along with center Dwight Howard (20 points, 14 rebounds), helped the Rockets (27-15) fashion a dominant effort in the paint to overwhelm the Bucks (7-32).

"He's been comfortable. He's been rebounding well. He's been active," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said of Jones. "There's big things for Terrence if he just keeps his activity level up. He's got enough skill that he can put the ball on the floor, he can make shots, he can drive, he can finish, he can pass. He's a very versatile player, and tonight he had it going."

Guard James Harden added 22 points and five steals for the Rockets, who never trailed and built their lead to 17 points in the second quarter. Houston recorded 26 points off 20 Milwaukee turnovers and produced 24 fast-break points. Jones and Howard shot a combined 22-for-31.

Milwaukee, which dropped its eighth consecutive game, was led by guard Brandon Knight (26 points) and forward John Henson, who contributed 20 points and 15 rebounds in 29 minutes off the bench.

The Bucks remained close throughout by making 11 of 23 3-pointers but were outscored 66-44 in the paint and undone by their miscues.

"You will not win a game on the road turning the ball over 20 times. You will not," Bucks coach Larry Drew said. "Against a team like Houston, you can't turn that basketball over. I know in the first quarter we had five or six turnovers and I know at least three or four of them led to easy baskets, and you are not going to be successful turning the ball over on the road against a good ball club."

What was a first quarter of offensive balance for Houston morphed into an exhibition of individual brilliance by Jones in the second.

Four Houston starters posted at least two field goals in the first quarter, but Jones erupted for 21 points in the second, doing so without a miss from the floor and just one from the foul line following a 7-of-7 start.

Jones had already scored 10 points in the period when he reeled off seven consecutive Houston points, including a transition dunk after a Harden steal of an errant Luke Ridnour pass with 5:38 left in the first half, and a layup at the 3:44 mark that built the Houston lead to 54-39.

"He's physical," Knight said of Jones, his former teammate at Kentucky. "That's really something he's worked on. He's very long and a lot of people underestimate his length, and that's something he brings to the table."

Milwaukee shaved the deficit to eight points when Henson and Knight combined for six consecutive points before Jones added two second-chance baskets inside the final minute of the first half, including one with 1.3 seconds left for a 62-52 lead at the break. Jones' efficiency was a result of his working within the framework of the Rockets offense.

"I was just playing through our offense and guys were just finding me on cuts," Jones said. "I was just trying to offensive rebound and do all the little things that I've been doing. It was just coming to me tonight."

NOTES: Bucks rookie G/F Giannis Antetokounmpo, nicknamed "The Greek Freak," has been the only highlight of a miserable first half for Milwaukee, offering an array of skills that belie his age and leave observers scrambling for accurate comparisons. "He's a hell of an athlete," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said of Antetokounmpo. "He reminds me of (Portland F Nic) Batum with his skill set. He can pass it, he makes plays, he blocks shots; he does a lot of things like Batum did when Batum first got in the league. But he's got a better frame, just bigger and stronger." ... Bucks G Gary Neal (illness) was a late scratch. ... Rockets G Patrick Beverley should make his return to the lineup on Monday night against the Portland Trail Blazers. Saturday night marked the 14th consecutive game he missed because of a broken right hand.