HOUSTON – San Antonio had a chance to douse the Rockets and go up in the series, but Game Four looked like Game One.
The Rockets were on fire from long range and tied up the series 2-2 with a 125-104 win over the Spurs.
It came down to making shots and the Rockets made more of them.
Houston was 19 out of 43 from beyond the arc for 44 percent. They were a plus 36 on points from three range, the Spurs only hit seven.
The Spurs defense was simply ineffective or "our defense was pretty defective," as Gregg Popovich put it in the postgame press conference.
"They were that intense, they were that focused and we were not," Popovich said. "You know our bible begins with transition defense and if it's not there then we're just not ready to go."
The Rockets were ready. They got the lead to 15 in the first quarter but the Spurs cut it to seven.
The Rockets got the lead to 15 again in the second quarter and the Spurs cut it to four at the half and then in the third, cut it to two. But Houston blew it open from there, got it to 18 points in the third and 25 in the fourth.
James Harden finished the night with a game high 28 points and 12 assists.
"Obviously we made shots which made it a lot easier, but I think energy was up the entire game now matter what," Harden said.
"They made a few adjustments that we couldn't adjust to on the fly, and it ended up leaving us and exposed our individual defense," said Patty Mills, who finished the game with 10 points.
Houston lost Nene in the first quarter with a groin injury and ended up playing with a smaller lineup most of the game.
The Spurs had a hard time taking advantage given the fact the Spurs were making two pointers while the Rockets were knocking down three's.
Mike D'Antoni said he would take that anytime, "I like that math."
"They came out and they played like it was a big game for them, a go home game, and they pushed it at us more than they did in the other game," said LaMarcus Aldridge, who finished with 16 points.
The Rockets were able to cut Kawhi Leonard off at the pass most of the night he only managed two points in the second half and finished with 16.
Dejounte Murray got his second start in place of the injured Tony Parker. He was obviously more comfortable scoring 8 points and 3 assists in 20 minutes.
The Rockets Patrick Beverley played with a heavy heart, his grandfather, who he was very close too, passed away before the game in Chicago.
He thought about going home but all his family told him to stay and play.
"To have a person like that being taken from you is hard, so hard. But you know, there's a bigger plan, I'm going to keep the faith of course and I am going to be there for my family," Beverley said.
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