ATLANTA (AP) -- After an embarrassing performance three nights
before, the Atlanta Hawks wanted to show some backbone at home.
"I don't want teams to think they can come in here and dominate
us," Antoine Walker said. "We're still a long way from where we
want to be."
Walker had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the Hawks rallied from
an 11-point deficit in the final 6:11 to beat the Houston Rockets
88-84 Tuesday night.
Yao Ming, who had 27 points and 11 rebounds, ended Houston's
0-for-10 skid from the field with a 5-footer with 18 seconds
remaining, cutting Atlanta's lead to 86-84. But Jon Barry made two
free throws to seal the win for the Hawks.
"We just melted down," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said.
"You've got to give them credit, they did a good job of pressuring
Reserve point guard Royal Ivey gave the Hawks a boost in the
fourth quarter with a pair of foul shots before stealing a
backcourt pass and driving for a layup for Atlanta's first lead of
the game at 83-82. Ivey, a rookie, had 10 points.
"We got some good defensive stops," Ivey said after playing 26
minutes to starter Kenny Anderson's 22. "We were down 14 and we
never gave up. We stuck to our principles. We fought back and
pulled it out. My turn came early tonight."
Yao hit 13 of 15 shots, and Tracy McGrady scored 21 points, but
the Rockets lost for the third time in four games. McGrady, who was
despondent over Houston's late fade, was just 3-for-11 from the
field in the second half.
"I think we let our guard down," McGrady said. "They turned
it up another notch and we were just chillin' out there. We tried
to bring our intensity back up and it was too late."
The Hawks pulled within seven on Josh Childress' layup with 6:57
remaining, but Juwan Howard answered 22 seconds later with a
10-footer that made it 80-71. After Walker missed a 3-pointer from
the left wing, Jim Jackson put the Rockets up by 11 with a
Houston missed a chance to build its lead back to six when
Charlie Ward's 3-pointer rattled out with 3:40 remaining.
Walker, who has scored at least 20 points in all seven games,
drove the left baseline and put back his own miss for an 85-82 lead
at the 1:23 mark. He was eager for the announced crowd of 16,595 to
see the Hawks end a two-game skid at home. Atlanta lost 103-88 to
San Antonio on Saturday night.
"We haven't given them much to cheer about," Walker said. "It
was a big win for us at home."
Reserve center Predrag Drobnjak played 31 minutes for Atlanta
and finished with 15 points. Al Harrington added 14 and Childress
12 for the Hawks, who outscored Houston 52-38 in the paint.
"We slash a lot," Harrington said, "so we're going to get a
lot of points in the paint."
The 7-foot-6 Yao had only one offensive rebound in the second
"They forced the ball out of Yao's hand, forced him off the
block," McGrady said. "That made everything tough for us. Down
the stretch they wanted it more than we did and they had more
Hawks C Jason Collier started but played only eight
minutes. Atlanta coach Mike Woodson went with Drobnjak, who is 10
pounds heavier than the 260-pound Collier. ... Ward shot just
1-for-6 and missed all five 3-point attempts. ... McGrady was
1-for-6 on 3s. ... Atlanta outscored the Rockets 12-2 on fast-break