San Antonio’s late surge downs Houston
Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Tim Duncan scored 19 points and grabbed 15
rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs held the Houston Rockets to nine points in
the fourth quarter on their way to a 92-84 come-from-behind victory.
The Spurs overcame a 19-point third quarter deficit for their fifth win in a
Manu Ginobli also scored 19 for San Antonio. The Spurs received major
contributions off of their bench, with Francisco Elson scoring 12, Beno Udrih
adding 11, and Robert Horry scoring 10 points. The Spurs have won seven of
their last eight.
San Antonio’s bench outscored Houston’s reserves, 41-16.
“Our bench turned the game around for us and gave us an opportunity to come
back and win the game,” Duncan said. “We were not good defensively in the
first half and then the effort in the second half was our best defense of the
Tracy McGrady paced the Rockets with 26 points and eight rebounds, but could
only score five in the second half. Yao Ming scored 20 points, but only came
down with six rebounds on the night. Rafer Alston added 12 points for the
Rockets who had a four-game winning streak snapped.
“They clogged the paint,” Yao said of San Antonio’s effort in the second half.
“They tried to push us out of the pain so that we would shoot jump shots and
they have a good rebounding team. So when we started missing shots, it’s hard
to get second chances.”
After McGrady hit a free throw put the Rockets up 75-58 with just under four
minutes left in the third quarter, but the Spurs quickly turned the game
around. San Antonio closed the third quarter on a 13-0 run, with Udrih scoring
the last seven points of the quarter.
The Spurs stretched the run to 17-0 with a dunk by Horry at 10:46 of the
fourth quarter to tie the game at 75-75.
The smothering San Antonio defense continued into the fourth, as Houston could
only manage nine points in the final quarter. Including the end of the third,
the Spurs closed the game on a 34-9 run.
It was all Houston early, as the Rockets opened the game on a 13-2 run.
McGrady was red-hot in the first half, netting 21 points, including a three-
pointer with 0.1 left in the second quarter to give the Rockets a 56-43 lead
going into halftime.
The Spurs have won seven in a row over the Rockets…San Antonio is undefeated
on the road this season, at 4-0…The Spurs outrebounded the Rockets 51-36.