- Brian James
ESPN Insider Brian James provides a scouting report update. To read his previous scouting report on this series, click here.
Keys in Game 4
Mavericks: The Dallas Mavericks' impressive 97-93 victory in Houston on Saturday continued the "road rules" trend: The visiting team has won the first four games in this series. Counting playoff games, the Mavs are now a combined 31-12 on the road this season. The "small ball" unit used by coach Avery Johnson proved to be decisive again as this time Jason Terry and Michael Finley came through big when it counted in the fourth quarter. In fact, the Mavs won the first, third and fourth quarters by a total of four points. Terry had his best game in the playoffs, scoring 32 points, including a huge trey after a loose ball scrum in the final minute. Terry hit 6 of 8 shots from downtown, and the Mavericks outscored the Rockets by 12 points from the arc. Finley hit two big shots late in the fourth period, as well, and ended with 18. The Mavericks have played screen-roll defense softer out front with Tracy McGrady. They're now just trying to keep McGrady in front of them, making him take the longer jump shot. As a result, the Mavs are not scrambling around rotating as much. The drive and kick game has helped the Mavs shoot 51 percent from 3-point range. Their knack for getting offensive rebounds stymied the Rockets.
It seems the Rockets' T-Mac is too tuckered out by the fourth period. If the Mavs continue their strategies to wear him out, they can take the series lead.