DALLAS (Ticker) -- Playing at home has not been much of an
advantage in the Western Conference first-round series between
the Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Rockets.
The fourth-seeded Mavericks will try to reverse that trend
Monday when they host the pivotal fifth game against the
Houston appeared to have a firm grasp on the series after
claiming the first two games in Dallas. But the Mavericks
climbed back into the series with a pair of road wins,
overcoming a fourth-quarter deficit on both occasions.
Trailing by six points with 5:40 left in the final quarter of
Game Four on Saturday, Dallas used a 9-0 run to take the lead
for good. Jason Terry's 3-pointer with just under 30 seconds
remaining was the dagger as the Mavericks posted a 97-93
For the second straight game, Dallas rallied thanks in large
part to its ability to shut down Houston All-Star Tracy McGrady
in the fourth quarter.
McGrady, who never has won a playoff series in his eight-year
career, managed just two of his 36 points in the final 12
minutes Saturday. In Game Three, he was limited to one basket
in the fourth quarter when the Rockets wilted down the stretch.
Terry scored 24 of his 32 points in the second half, when he
made 5-of-7 shots from the arc. Michael Finley added 18 for
Dallas, which is trying to become the third team in NBA history
to win a series after losing the first two at home.
To win their third straight in the series, the Mavs likely will
need a better performance from leading scorer Dirk Nowitzki, who
scored just 18 points Saturday. Nowitzki had scored at least
20 points in his previous eight postseason contests.