Friday , May , 06 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

McGrady’s 37 fuels Rockets; Game 7 set for Saturday

Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Tracy McGrady poured in a game-high 37 points,
and the Houston Rockets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 101-83
victory over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 6 of their first round playoff
series.

Brent Barry and Mike James combined to scored 36 points off the bench for the
Rockets, who got their first win in this series since taking Games 1 and 2 in
Dallas.

Houston took control with a 19-0 run in the fourth quarter, turning a one-
point game into a rout. Barry scored 12 of his 14 points in the fourth, and
James had nine of his 22 in the period.

“I’m not thinking about the score, I’m just thinking that when I’m on the
court I want to play inspired basketball,” James said.

“Everyone jumps on [McGrady’s] back, but we have to give him help,” James
added. “We try to help him with the load. We know he’s going to lead us, but
everyone else has to chip in.”

The Mavericks were attempting to become just the third team ever to win a
playoff series after losing the first two games at home. They will get another
chance at home when the teams meet for Game 7 on Saturday.

Jerry Stackhouse scored 21 points to lead Dallas, but had just seven in the
second half. Dirk Nowitzki added 19 points on 5-of-22 shooting in the loss,
and Mike Finley scored 14.

The Mavericks were just 4-for-27 in the fourth quarter and they went without a
field goal for more than seven minutes to end the game — much to the delight
of the Toyota Center crowd.

Houston made its run without Yao Ming, who scored just eight points in the
game and didn’t play a minute in the fourth quarter.

Dikembe Mutombo contributed strong defense during the burst with Yao on the
bench. His shot block of Jason Terry set up a McGrady three-pointer that gave
the Rockets a 94-80 lead with 4:12 remaining — probably the dagger that
killed Dallas’ chances at a comeback.

James then scored seven straight points over the next 3 1/2 minutes before
Devin Harris ended the Mavericks’ drought with three free throws that made it
101-83.

Those were the first Dallas points since a Stackhouse layup with 7:20
remaining capped an 8-0 burst that pulled his team within 82-80.

The Mavericks missed their last 17 field goal attempts after that, including
nine three-point tries. They ended just 7-of-26 from beyond the arc, and shot
36 percent for the game.

In the first half, both teams held leads as large as 10 points. But it was
Houston which held a 52-45 lead at the break.

McGrady scored 19 of his 37 points in the first half, and James added 13
points in 14 minutes off the bench.

Stackhouse scored 14 first-half points to lead the Mavericks, who led 70-69
heading into the fourth quarter.

The winner of this series will meet the top-seeded Phoenix Suns in the
conference semifinals. Only the Los Angeles Lakers in 1969 and the Rockets in
1994 have come back to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first two
games at home.

DAL HOU