HOUSTON -- James Harden was out with a thumb injury, and then Dwight Howard got off to a slow start. It sure looked as if it was going to be a long night for the Houston Rockets. Then everything changed in the third quarter. Howard got back on track and a pair of role players stepped up to help Houston rally for a 97-90 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday. The Rockets trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half before scoring 33 in the third to go on top. San Antonio used an 11-3 spurt to pull within two in the final minutes, but Howard and Jeremy Lin helped Houston hold on for the win. "We just kept grinding it out," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "We changed a couple of things defensively and the guys kind of dug in and got stops." Howard had 23 points and 16 rebounds for Houston, which enjoyed a 55-39 advantage on the glass. Terrence Jones scored 21 points and Lin added 18 points and eight assists while starting in Hardens spot. Harden, who leads the team with 23.7 points a game, was out with a bruised left thumb. "I know I missed a lot of shots early," Howard said. "I didnt lose focus. I got a little frustrated because I wanted to make those shots, especially against Tim (Duncan). But I just tried to stick with it and show the team that no matter what Im going to battle." Boris Diaw scored a season-high 22 points for the Spurs, and he also had 11 rebounds. Tony Parker added 17 points and Duncan had 12 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks. Houston was clinging to a 90-88 lead with less than two minutes left when Howard had a dunk and Lin made a jumper. Duncan had a layup on the other end, but Lin sunk a pair of free throws to secure the victory. Houston has won all three meetings with the Southwest Division-leading Spurs to secure the season series for the first time since 1996-97. They have one scheduled game left on April 14 in Houston. San Antonios 90-point performance ended a streak of 15 straight games with at least 100 points and sent the Spurs to consecutive losses for the first time this season. The last time they were held below 100 was a 111-98 loss to Houston on Christmas Day. The Spurs got within six on a hook shot by Diaw early in the fourth quarter. Lin then scored five quick points to extend Houstons lead to 81-70. Houston was up by four points with four minutes left in the third quarter when San Antonio resorted to the "Hack-a-Howard" defence, fouling the centre every time the Rockets got the ball. Howard made 13 of 25 foul shots on the night, leaving him at 52.2 per cent from the line for the season. "I figured they were going to do it," he said. "Im just glad I made most of them." Duncan lamented that the tactic backfired for the Spurs. "Thats what he had to do to get us out of it," Duncan said. "He made free throws and he hurt us with them." The Spurs employed the strategy on eight straight possessions, with Howard making 10 foul shots while they had six points as Houston extended its lead to 70-62. Diaw made a jump shot at the end of the third quarter to cut Houstons lead to 72-64 entering the fourth. The Rockets opened the second half with an 11-2 run, capped by a two-handed dunk by Howard, to take their first lead of the game at 50-48. Lin started the run with a 3-pointer and also had two free throws in the surge. Manu Ginobili made four free throws for San Antonio before Houston scored six straight points to take a 56-52 lead. Ginobili and Chandler Parsons then exchanged rim-rattling dunks in rapid succession. The 36-year-old Ginobili injured himself on his jam and was soon limping and holding his upper left leg. He remained in the game for a bit before walking off the court and into the locker room at the next timeout. The team said he had tightness in his left hamstring. He missed time earlier this month with the same problem. San Antonio led by 10 points in the second quarter before Howard made his first basket of the night after starting the game 0 for 8. The bucket was the first of five straight points for Howard with San Antonios only points in that stretch coming on a layup by Marco Belinelli, helping Houston close to 46-39 at halftime. Houston struggled early without Harden and San Antonio jumped to a 9-0 lead thanks to five points from Diaw. The Spurs pushed the lead to 21-6 with about five minutes left in the first. NOTES: Harden injured his thumb in Houstons last game at Memphis on Saturday. ... Diaw has scored at least 10 points 20 times this season. Brandon Fusco Jersey
. The Tournament of Champions, which starts Friday, is his first event since a freak accident in Shanghai two months ago. Snedeker was on a Segway scooter during a corporate outing at Sheshan International when he took a tumble and injured his left knee. Cheap Football Falcons Jerseys
. The Brazilian driver had the second-best time in last months tests at Jerez and said the "good start" could play to his advantage when the season gets underway in Australia in March. http://www.cheapfalconsjerseysonsale.com/?tag=brian-poole-jersey-sale
. 5 Trade Deadline is drawing closer and teams will be deciding on whether to buy or sell. Keanu Neal Jersey
. Hes the same player he always was, only now his efforts are being rewarded. The rookie manager has made a habit of heaping praise on others when things are going well, and accepting criticism when they arent. But in the case of Hurtado, its what the coach is NOT saying that may be the secret to a superb run of form. Justin Bethel Jersey
. That still leaves a big hole.You dont replace the leadership, defensive co-ordinator Billy Davis said. You just dont. Leadership is something that is earned over time.(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs are one win away from yet another title and they will go for it Sunday night against the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at AT&T Center. You can catch the action live tonight on TSN at at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt., you can also listen to Game 5 on TSN Radio 1050. The Spurs are knocking on the door of a fifth franchise title thanks to a pair of road drubbings of the Heat in South Beach. On Tuesday, the Spurs set an NBA Finals record by shooting almost 76 percent in the first half of a 111-92 waxing of the Heat. Then, with Miamis season basically on the line, the Spurs came out in Thursdays Game 4 and put on another clinic, demolishing the two-time reigning champs, 107-86. San Antonio hasnt won a title since 2007 and the Heat ripped the Spurs collective heart out one year ago. The Spurs held a 3-2 series lead in the Finals and had the lead with five seconds to go in Game 6. Ray Allen hit a crazy 3-pointer to force overtime of Game 6, which the Heat eventually won. Miami took Game 7 in South Beach and San Antonio lost its first Finals with this historic group. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Gregg Popovich have seen it all in Alamo City. Duncan and Popovich won their first title together in 1999 and they are cementing their status as a true dynasty. But, with the memories of last years Finals debacle still fresh, the Spurs take nothing for granted. "I think we go back to last year and we learn from that. Were 30 seconds away. We feel that we have it in the bag and it slips out of our fingers," Duncan said Saturday. "So I think we learn from that, and we draw on that, and we say, Hey, its not over till its over. Our goal right now is to just win one more game. Wed love to do it tomorrow. Wed love to do it in one game. But luckily weve put ourselves in a situation where we have a couple opportunities and were going to take whatever it takes. Theyre going to come out and give us their best punch possible." The Spurs got into this position thanks to dominating road performances. Tuesdays Game 3 was an offensive exhibition, but Thursdays victory was an overall gem. Kawhi Leonard, who scored a career-high 29 points in the Spurs Game 3 win, had another monster game with 20 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks, three assists and three steals to lead San Antonio. Parker scored 12 of his 19 points in the first half, Patty Mills added 14 points off the bench and Duncan contributed a 10-point, 11-reebound double- double in the win.dddddddddddd Boris Diaw, who was inserted into the starting lineup before Game 3, nearly recorded a triple-double with eight points, nine assists and nine rebounds. "We thought we could come in here and win these games," Duncan said when asked about the lopsided wins in Miami. "We came in here tonight with great focus and put a great game together." Duncan passed Magic Johnson for most double-doubles in postseason history with 158 and also passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most minutes played in a postseason career. History is on the Spurs side with a 3-1 series lead. Teams that have gone up by that margin are a perfect 31-0 in Finals history. "We need to win one game. Thats all we can think about," Miamis LeBron James said after practice Saturday. "We cant think about forcing a Game 7. We have to win one game. Game 5, being here in a hostile environment, we know if we lose, the season is over." James scored 19 of his 28 points in the third quarter of Game 4, though San Antonio had the game well in hand by halftime. "They smashed us two straight home games," James said. "They put you in some difficult situations." Chris Bosh tallied 12 points and Dwyane Wade finished with 10 on 3-of-13 shooting in the setback. With Game 4 a desperation scenario for the Heat, the Spurs dominated, especially in the critical categories, San Antonio shot 40-for-70 (57.1 percent) from the floor and outrebounded Miami, 44-27, Thursday night. The Spurs bench outscored Miamis reserves, 41-30, with James Jones netting 11 points off the bench in the final minutes and the Spurs owned a 46-30 edge in the paint. And now the Heat face the tallest of challenges in a bid to three-peat. They did win Game 2 in San Antonio, so theres cautious reason for optimism. "There is a point where no team came back from a 3-1 or 3-0 deficit in the ALCS, and then the Red Sox did it against the Yankees," said James. "So history is made to be broken, and why not me be a part of it? That would be great. That would be a great story line, right? But well see what happens. Ive got to live in the moment, though, before we even get to that point." The Spurs are in the process of becoming one the NBAs greatest champions. Just dont tell them that. "I dont think about legacy very often or at all, I guess," deadpanned Popovich. Game 6, if necessary, would be Tuesday night in Miami. Cheap Adidas Hockey Jerseys Wholesale College Jerseys Cheap Nike Basketball Jerseys Cheap Football Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Baseball Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Jerseys From China Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Nike NBA Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Authentic Cheap MLB Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Soccer Jerseys China Cheap NCAA Jerseys China Stitched NFL Jerseys Cheap Custom Jerseys China Cheap Basketball Jerseys Authentic NFL Jerseys China Cheap College Jerseys Wholesale Football Jerseys
' ' '