HOUSTON, May 5 (Ticker) --
, Jon Barry
and the Houston
Rockets' defense have them going the distance.
McGrady scored 37 points and Barry provided a huge spark in the
fourth quarter to lead the Rockets to a 101-83 victory over the
Dallas Mavericks and force a decisive seventh game in their
Western Conference first-round series.
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After winning the first two games of the series on the road, the
fifth-seeded Rockets hardly resembled that team in dropping the
next three contests, including squandering fourth-quarter leads
here in Games 3 and 4.
However, with their backs against the wall, the Rockets
responded with an enormous fourth quarter to send the series
back to Dallas for Game 7 on Saturday.
"We won and that's all that really matters," McGrady said. "It
was win or go home, and we definitely didn't want to go home
right now, so we came out and played big."
"I think our guys came in with a satisfied attitude, and it was
just unacceptable," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson
The Rockets opened the fourth quarter with a 13-2 run to take
the lead for good, then used a 19-3 run over the final 7:20 of
the contest in which they held the Mavericks without a basket.
Barry fueled the run to start the quarter, scoring 10 of his 14
points in less than four minutes. McGrady led the charge to
close the contest as he made a pair of 3-pointers and scored
"We were in attack mode throughout the whole fourth quarter, and
it helps when guys are making shots," McGrady said. "It just
boosts your confidence and carries over to the defensive end."
"Jon is a great shooter, and sometimes we put him at the four
(position), and it hurts us sometimes rebounding, but he's also
a threat because he's such a good shooter," Rockets guard
McGrady's 3-pointer off a blocked shot by Dikembe Mutombo
was on the floor in place of Yao Ming
in the fourth quarter,
gave the Rockets a 94-80 lead with 4:11 remaining. Mutombo did
his signature finger wave following his blocked shot of Jason Terry
McGrady, who never has been past the first round of the playoffs
in eight seasons, made 14-of-28 shots. He went 6-of-10 from
the arc and also grabbed eight rebounds to along with seven
With Mutombo, a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year,
making his presence felt, the Mavericks missed their final 17
shots and shot a woeful 18 percent (5-of-27) in the fourth
quarter. Mutombo had four blocked shots in the fourth quarter.
"We really buckled down on the defensive end," McGrady said. "We
had the big dog (Mutombo) down there tonight protecting the
house. And Dikembe was unbelievable."
"Well, Dikembe played great," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy
"He played a great final quarter, obviously, but this game is
about making or missing. We probably did some things a little
bit better and they probably missed some shots that they could
scored 21 points and Dirk Nowitzki
struggling to 5-of-22 shooting for the Mavericks.
"Well, obviously, we couldn't score," Johnson said. "We had
been playing pretty good in the fourth, offensively and
defensively, but we couldn't get anything going."
"We didn't play badly, but none of the breaks went our way,"
said Stackhouse, who made his first six shots and finished
9-of-16 from the floor. "(The Rockets) played a great game, and
you have to shake their hand and go back to Dallas."
A Marquis Daniels
jumper with 10:40 remaining gave the Mavericks
a 72-71 lead. But McGrady made a 3-pointer 24 seconds later,
Barry sank two free throws and consecutive 3-pointers to give
the Rockets an 82-72 lead and send the Toyota Center into a
Stackhouse, who played well off the bench, drilled a shot from
the arc and scored on a follow shot around a 3-pointer by
Nowitzki, pulling the Mavericks back within 82-80 with 7:20 to
James started the Rockets' closing surge with a layup and
McGrady made a 3-pointer and turnaround jumper before Barry sank
two free throws with 4:31 to play, rebuilding the lead back to
James was a big factor off the bench, scoring 22 points on
7-of-11 shooting. He scored 13 points in the second quarter,
helping the Rockets battle back from a double-digit deficit and
take a 52-45 lead into the break. McGrady scored 19 points in
the first half.
James actually outscored starters Yao, David Wesley
, Bob Sura
and Scott Padgett
, who combined for just 19 points.
"We haven't been able to answer Mike James pretty much the whole
series," Johnson said. "We'll pay more attention to him in
In addition to James, Barry and Mutombo also played well off the
bench. Barry made 4-of-7 shots while Mutombo grabbed 10
"It was a tremendous effort tonight," Barry said. "I think
we've got some guys who probably have never played in a Game
Seven, and there's nothing quite like it. It's hard to explain
how intense and emotional it is."
It was a surprisingly quiet game for Yao, who scored just eight
points on 3-of-8 shooting in 27 minutes. The 7-6 giant had
averaged 21.8 points in the first five games of the series.
Nowitzki was not the only starter to struggle for the Mavericks.
Terry, who averaged 18.0 points in the first five games and
made a scorching 16-of-23 shots from the arc, scored just seven
points on 3-of-12 shooting.
"Houston got stops in the fourth quarter, and we didn't," Terry
said. "That is what it came down to. We let their role players
go off, and that is what killed us. We know what we have to
do, and now we just have to do it."
The Mavericks shot just 36 percent (31-of-86).