HOUSTON, Feb. 22 (Ticker) -- In the longest game of his career, Yao Ming did not seem tired.

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Yao scored eight of his career-best 41 points in triple overtime to lead the Houston Rockets to a wild 123-121 triumph over the Atlanta Hawks, their sixth victory in seven games.

Yao made 15-of-21 shots and added 16 rebounds and a career-high seven assists in 50 minutes for the Rockets, who were coming off a 97-88 loss at Dallas on Saturday.

"I think I was very tired to the point I felt numb," Yao said through an interpreter. "I just had to keep going. Feeling tired is a bad feeling, but losing is worse."

"He did everything," Rockets guard Steve Francis said. "He rebounded, he scored, he passed and he defended, too. It was very exciting to see him lead us the way he did."

The Rockets trailed, 121-120, before Yao made a spinning jumper with 23 seconds left in the third extra period. Hawks guard Jason Terry drove the lane but, due to the outstretched arm of the 7-6 Yao, was forced to pass while airborne to recent signee Mamadou N'Diaye, who missed a layup.

"We played zone to control Yao and he still had 41 points," Hawks coach Terry Stotts said. "The last shot he made shows exactly how good he is. He's an imposing figure out there with a nice touch. He got points off of rebounds, he got us in foul trouble and he made his free throws. He did a little bit of everything out there."

After a timeout, Cuttino Mobley was fouled with 8.7 seconds left but split a pair of attempts, giving Atlanta a chance to tie or win. Bobby Sura, playing his first game since being acquired from Detroit on Thursday, missed a floater over Yao, and Atlanta could not grab the rebound as time expired.

"I definitely got fouled but they didn't call it," said Sura, who had season highs of 14 points and seven assists. "It was a pick-and-roll and I got past (Rockets forward Maurice) Taylor, and I got shoved in the back and I missed it."

The Hawks played their first triple-overtime game since a 135-132 loss at San Antonio on March 20, 1984. The Rockets went to triple OT for the first time since March 13, 2001, a 127-118 home win over Indiana.

Mobley scored 28 points in 59 minutes for the Rockets. Backcourt mate Francis had only 16 on 5-of-20 shooting in 58 minutes before fouling out with 37 seconds left.

"I felt like I played that many minutes," Mobley said. "I'm tired as hell. I'm just glad we didn't give up."

In a game that featured 20 lead changes and 18 ties, Atlanta's Chris Crawford tied it, 94-94, on a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Jim Jackson, who scored 17 points in 54 minutes for Houston, missed a jumper in the final seconds.

Francis, who had been 0-for-6 from the arc, nailed a 3-pointer from the right corner with 2.9 seconds left in overtime that tied the game, 107-107. After a timeout, Atlanta's Jason Terry had a clear path to the basket but missed a layup over Jackson and Yao just before the buzzer.

"I just missed it," Terry said. "It was a wide-open layup and I just missed it."

In the second overtime, Jackson connected on a 3-pointer from the right corner with 5.8 seconds left to tie it at 114. Atlanta called a timeout, but N'Diaye was forced to take a long jumper and shot an airball, and Sura could not scoop the ball in before time expired.

Terry scored 27 points and Stephen Jackson added 24 for the Hawks, who lost a third straight game.

"Every team needs miracles like this during the course of a season," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "Hopefully we can come back stronger from it."