Tuesday , Apr , 26 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

McGrady’s shot sends Rockets to 2-0 series lead

=== McGrady’s shot sends Rockets to 2-0 series lead ===

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) – Tracy McGrady finished with 28 points, 10
assists and eight rebounds and hit the game-winning shot with 2.2 seconds left
to give the Houston Rockets a 113-111 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in
Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.

The Rockets now hold a 2-0 lead as the best-of-seven series shifts to Houston
for Game 3 on Thursday.

Yao Ming scored a game-high 33 points on 13-of-14 shooting for the fifth-
seeded Rockets, who have won all seven of their series when leading two games
to none.

“I didn’t think I’d shoot as well as I did today, but all the shots I made
were ones I was comfortable with,” Yao said through an interpreter.

Jon Barry netted 16 points and Bob Sura added 14 in the victory.

Dirk Nowitzki had 26 points on just 8-of-21 shooting for the fourth-seeded
Mavericks, who now have an uphill battle after dropping the first two games at
home.

Josh Howard scored 17 points in the loss and Jason Terry chipped in 15.

“This is a very disappointing loss, but we’ll bounce back,” said Mavericks
head coach Avery Johnson.

Houston trailed by seven midway through the fourth quarter, but used an 11-3
burst to take a 106-105 lead. Sura hit a three-pointer in the run and Yao’s
layup handed the Rockets the one-point edge with 2:49 left.

Sura hit another three-pointer to give the Rockets a 109-107 edge with 2:15
left, but Terry answered with a jumper to even the game 22 seconds later. It
stayed that way until McGrady drove the lane and dished off to Yao for a dunk
and a two-point lead with 1:06 left.

Nowitzki’s jumper in the lane with 10 seconds left tied the game at 111-111.
However, the Rockets came right down the court and McGrady drilled a shot from
just inside the three-point line to restore the two-point lead with 2.2 ticks
left.

The Mavericks then tried to tie the game, but Michael Finley’s jumper missed
as time expired.

“He’s (McGrady) making big shots,” said Johnson. “He’s playing superstar
basketball right now.”

The Rockets led 60-56 at halftime, but Dallas grabbed the upper hand with a
big third quarter. The Mavericks began the period with a 12-6 run to take
their first lead of the game. Terry began and ended the stretch with
three-pointers and his second shot from beyond the arc made it 68-66 with 7:43
left.

The Mavericks would build the lead up to seven points after Erick Dampier’s
dunk made it 82-75 with 1:54 remaining. Dallas would then take a 88-84 lead
into the final 12 minutes.

Both teams shot the ball well in the first quarter and were able to put big
numbers on the board. The Rockets never trailed in the opening period, but the
score was tight throughout. Houston held the largest lead of the quarter after
Sura’s three-pointer made it 25-20 with 4:28 remaining. The Rockets would lead
34-30 after 12 minutes of play.

Yao scored 17 points in the first quarter and McGrady added 10.

“I wanted to get Yao going right away and establish a low-post presence,” said
McGrady.

Houston opened the second quarter on an 8-4 run to grab a 42-34 advantage.
Barry hit a pair of three-pointers in the stretch. The Mavericks then battled
back and tied the game at 51-51 on Finley’s three-pointer with 3:59 remaining.
However, the Rockets regained the lead and would head into halftime with a
60-56 advantage.

The Rockets shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and Dallas had a
48 percent clip.

DAL HOU