SAN ANTONIO (CBS HOUSTON) – As the lower seeded team in an NBA playoff series, the goal is simply to steal one of the first two games on the road and swing home court advantage into your favor.
After the Houston Rockets’ dominating 126-99 victory in game one of their conference semi final series against the Spurs, Houston was thinking about taking a 2-0 lead to Houston this weekend.
Those plans got scrapped in the fourth quarter as the Spurs rattled off a 9-0 run to start the period and outscored the Rockets 33-13 overall in a 121-96 loss Wednesday night at AT&T Center.
Despite the loss the Rockets know as of now they don’t have to win another game in San Antonio to win the series with three of the next four games at Toyota Center in Houston.
“We did what we needed to do,” Rockets guard Patrick Beverley said after the game two loss. “We stole a game on the road and now we get to back to Houston with some of the best fans in the world.”
The Spurs rebounded nicely after a game one loss that was over early. The Rockets had struggle finding the pace that enabled them to shoot 50 threes in game one, connecting on 22 of them for a franchise playoff record. The Spurs defense cut the Rockets three-point output in half, allowing just 11 threes on 34 attempts. The defensive response was something the Rockets expected.
“It’s a series, it’s 1-1,” Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We’ll gather ourselves in Houston We know it’s not easy; these guys are good, super well-coached. “You know they were going to have a reaction and they did. Now it’s our turn to react.”
The Spurs made a few changes to their rotation patterns, but most notably moved Pau Gasol into the starting line-up at center instead of David Lee and had Kawhi Leonard defending James Harden throughout the game.
“It seemed to work out tonight, but this is just one night, one game,” Spurs head coach Greg Popovich said. ” Nobody’s too excited about a win or a loss, you just go on to the next game.”
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio