Final

Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 12/9

Game 1: Thursday, December 9th
Spurs80Final
Rockets81
Game 2: Saturday, January 15th
Spurs67Final
Rockets73
Game 3: Wednesday, February 23rd
Rockets81Final
Spurs99
Game 4: Sunday, March 27th
Rockets70Final
Spurs83

Rockets 70

(42-28, 20-15 away)

Spurs 83

(52-18, 33-3 home)

12:00 PM ET, March 27, 2005

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

1 2 3 4 T
HOU 17 19 20 1470
SA 24 15 16 2883

Top Performers

Houston: T. McGrady 26 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

San Antonio: B. Barry 17 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

McGrady clocks game-high 44 minutes

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Brent Barry is finally showing the shooting touch that the San Antonio Spurs coveted when they signed him as a free agent last summer.

Barry hit three 3-pointers during a 21-2 run in the fourth quarter and the Spurs held Houston to its lowest point total of the season during a 83-70 win over the Rockets on Sunday.

Barry, who finished with 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting, has averaged 19 points in the last three games at a time when San Antonio needs extra production, with top scorer Tim Duncan and key reserve Devin Brown on the injured list.

"There is no one in the league that feels sorry for the Spurs," said Barry, who has made 10 of his last 15 3-point attempts. "We have to be mentally strong ... We all pulled together and played with some emotions, and that carried us."

The Rockets, who trailed by as many as 12 in the first half, went ahead 60-55 on a 23-foot jumper by Tracy McGrady with 10:31 left in the game. The basket was the last of the game for McGrady, who finished with 26 points.

Barry tied it at 60 with 8:07 remaining with his first 3-pointer. Then the Spurs' defense took over, swarming the ball and collapsing on Yao Ming. Yao also had only one basket in the final quarter and ended with 18 points.

Houston missed all but one of its six shots and had five turnovers during San Antonio's decisive run. The Spurs, who shot only 36 percent in the game, hit six of seven attempts beginning with Barry's first 3-pointer.

Manu Ginobili led San Antonio with 18 points, while Barry had 17 and Robert Horry 12. Bruce Bowen and Tony Parker each scored 11 for the Spurs, who improved to 3-5 this season without Duncan, who missed his four straight game with a sprained right ankle.

Ginobili credited the Spurs' defensive strategy of clamping down on McGrady in the fourth. McGrady went 1-for-7 in the period.

"Our rotations were really good -- we were everywhere," said Ginobili, whose five steals were one short of his season high. "Then we got some rebounds. That makes you feel more confident when you go on offense."

The win gave the Spurs a split of the season series with Houston, which lost for only the fourth time in 14 games this month.

The Rockets' previous low was 72 in a one-point loss to Detroit on Nov. 30.

"We are in a deep, deep passing slump right now," said Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy. "We didn't play well enough offensively to give ourselves a chance."

The Rockets had 17 turnovers, five by McGrady, that led to 21 San Antonio points.

McGrady said afterward that he was slowed by a right hip strain suffered in Friday night's win in New Orleans. He was listed as questionable before the game, but ended up playing 44 minutes and taking 25 shots.

"I didn't feel as quick as I wanted to today," he said. "I wasn't holding back because I wanted to. I had no choice."

Rasho Nesterovic scored three of San Antonio's first four baskets, and a pair of free throws by Sean Marks late in the first gave the Spurs a 22-12 lead. McGrady made his first three attempts for the Rockets, who went more than seven minutes in the quarter without a basket.

A dunk by Ginobili off his own steal made it 33-21 San Antonio with about seven minutes left in the second, but the Spurs missed eight of their last 11 attempts.

McGrady hit three more shots late in the quarter as Houston got the difference down to 39-36 at the break.

Game notes


San Antonio has beaten Houston 15 straight times at home, the last loss coming in April 1997. ... The teams last split the season series in 1997-98, when Duncan was a rookie. ... Houston's David Wesley still has 999 3-pointers in his NBA career. He went 0-for-2 behind the arc. ... San Antonio played without reserve forward Tony Massenburg, out with a fever.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
HOU
SA
Points 70 83
FGM-FGA 29-68 (.426) 29-80 (.363)
3PM-3PA 1-8 (.125) 7-20 (.350)
FTM-FTA 11-12 (.917) 18-22 (.818)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 4-37 13-42
Assists 13 20
Turnovers 17 11
Steals 4 10
Blocks 3 5
Fast Break Points 6 17
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
Largest Lead 5 17

Top Performers

Houston
San Antonio
Tracy McGrady McGrady
Points: 26
Reb: 7
Ast: 4
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Brent Barry Barry
Points: 17
Reb: 4
Ast: 2
Stl: 1
Blk: 0