HOUSTON, May 5 (Ticker) -- Tracy McGrady, 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 said.

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 eight points.

"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 Mike James said.

McGrady's 3-pointer off a blocked shot by Dikembe Mutombo, who 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 assists.

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 said. "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 have made."

Jerry Stackhouse scored 21 points and Dirk Nowitzki 19 while 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 frenzy.

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 play.

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 double digits.

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 Game 7."

In addition to James, Barry and Mutombo also played well off the bench. Barry made 4-of-7 shots while Mutombo grabbed 10 rebounds.

"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).