Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Mavs take 3-2 series lead over Rockets

May 3, 2005, 10:48AM

Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

DALLAS - The incredible was theirs. When they had to be, the Rockets were spectacular. They were doing to the Mavericks what the Mavericks had done to them.

The Rockets finally had turned Yao Ming into Shaquille O'Neal, bending rims but unable to make free throws. They had Tracy McGrady scurrying to take his intentionally missed free throw to the 3-point arc to fling a last-chance shot at overtime.

This time, the miracle seemed theirs. The improbable was within reach. But for the Rockets, the ordinary proved impossible. Again.

The Rockets came back with a spectacular fourth quarter but lost 103-100 on Monday night at American Airlines Center when — as with their consecutive losses in Houston — they could not make the ordinary, game-winning plays.

With that, the Rockets return to Toyota Center for Thursday's Game 6 trailing the Mavericks 3-2 and lamenting the moments that have gotten away.

"It's tough," McGrady said. "We are right there. It's always something down the stretch of the ballgame. We do a good job of fighting back and getting ourselves into the ballgame when we were down 11. It's always a broken play, a rebound, or something. We just can't ever get over the hump."

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