News » Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2009-04-30

Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2009-04-30

Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2009-04-30
When the Rockets were leading the series, winning both Toyota Center games, they were happy to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Blazers' defense on Yao Ming. Through three games, they were the top shooting team in the playoffs. Even after the fourth quarter, when they made 39 percent, they still were second-best and were a win away from clinching the series.

They are still one win away from moving to the second round, but after losing Game 5 in Portland, they seemed to be growing weary with having to take the shots the Blazers allow rather than the shots they usually want.

Yao Ming took just 12 shots on Tuesday, and most were from the perimeter. He scored 15 points, but when asked what improvement he wanted for Game 6 Yao made his preference clear: "Get the ball inside. Get the ball inside. Get the ball inside."

Rockets coach Rick Adelman has spoken throughout the series about wanting to get Yao more touches, even against the Portland double teams. But when the Rockets crumbled in the fourth quarter, he pointed to the big-picture problems that gave the Rockets no chance down the stretch and remain the problem they likely will have to overcome.

"Offensively, we have to have more patience," Adelman said. "We can't just come down and play at a frenzied pace. We turned it over. We only had five assists in the second half. We didn't play the way we need to play."

They have done that for stretches throughout the series, with their ability to have poise under the pressure of the Portland defense and what it takes away becoming the key to the Rockets' hopes to get one more win to advance.

TRAIL BLAZERS 88, ROCKETS 77: The Rockets led by four minutes into the fourth quarter and on a night in which they had been climbing uphill from the opening tip, that seemed to be a pretty good position to close out the game and the series. But even when building the lead, they had been committing jittery, needless fouls. And when the Trail Blazers were forced to their toughest test of their ability to stay in the game and the series, the Rockets crumbled. Portland rallied back, at first with free throws and then with the Rockets' offense breaking down for five crucial minutes. The Blazers took a 15-0 run to an 11-point lead. When the Rockets briefly rallied again, cutting the lead to five with 2:15 left, it was too late. A Steve Blake drive, a missed Ron Artest 3 and missed Aaron Brooks drive sealed the Portland win. But after spending the game coming back from double-digit Portland leads, the Rockets fell apart when they were finally in front.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: April 30, 2009


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