Houston Rockets were just a win away from clinching the western conference semi-finals spot as they faced Dallas Mavericks in their first round Playoffs game 4, but the Mavs spoiled Rockets' party, winning the game 121 to 109.
Rockets lead the best of seven series, 3-1.
It was a complete team effort from the Mavs with players such as Monta Ellis, Al-Farouq and Tyson Chandler standing tall in a high scoring game. Ellis lead the team from the front with 31 points. Dirk Nowitzki scored 16 points as well.
If these set of players come up with such performance once again, it would be no surprise to witness Rockets suffering their second straight loss to Mavs.
With this collective performance, the Mavs have taken it to game 5, which is scheduled for Tuesday at Toyota Center in Houston. Rockets Coach Kevin McHale felt that the Mavs played harder than his team.
"They played harder than us," AP quoted McHale as saying.
"They beat us on the boards bad. They pushed it down on us. Our coverages were really loose, and they just played harder than we did. That's the bottom line, they played with more desperation."
Two key players for Houston Rockets, James Harden and Dwight Howard were kept relatively quiet as per their standards with Harden scoring 24 points and Howard with 13 points. The Mavs would be eager to stop these players playing an influential role in game 5.
Harden feels they need to be on top of their game both offensively as well as defensively.
"We have to be better on both ends of the floor," James Harden said. "Credit to them, they did a great job of pressuring the ball, but overall we have to be better at doing what we're supposed to do."
Another key performer for Mavs was JJ Baream, who scored 17 points and 13 assists. Dallas Maverickscoach RickCarlisle praised Baream for his performance.
"He's always a guy that's going to battle," Carlisle told the Mavericks' official website. "He's relished playoff opportunities. That's been the pattern of his career. He's played big for us a lot while he's been here. I just think that's how he's wired and how he approaches it."
The Rockets would be eager to finish off the series on Tuesday and wait for the winner between San Antonio Spurs and LA Clippers series, with the victorious team expected to face Rockets. The series is currently tied at 2-2.
Where to Watch Live
The NBA Playoffs Round 1 Game 5 between Mavericks and Rockets is scheduled for 8pm ET (5:30am IST, 1:30am BST) start.
Viewers in the US can watch the game live on TNT.
Indian viewers can watch it Live on Sony Six.
NBA fans can also watch the playoffs live on NBA.com.