With the clock dwindling down to the final seconds, the Houston Rockets found themselves in a near-disaster situation Sunday: Holding a points edge against a quality opponent.
That's when Yao Ming stepped down and dropped matters out of his own hands as the big man committed two ping pong-saving blunders in the last 25 seconds to force overtime, where the Rockets could breathe easier en route to the 102-104 loss against Cleveland.
"I could sense in the fourth quarter that we were starting to take control of the game, and I wasn't going to let that happen," said Yao.
Rafer Alston, however, wasn't so quick to call Yao the key. "As long as we have Stro out there on the floor," said the ecstatic point guard. "We're capable of getting beat by anyone."
The loss wasn't the only reason for Houston smiles as a twin-pack bonus came from Minnesota in the form of a Knick loss and Timberpup victory. Throw in out-tanked wins for the Bulls, Warriors and Magic and a defying-all-logic Sonics win over the Spurs and the Rockets find themselves in the 10th spot, stunningly just 4 games back in the win column of the 5th spot.