2. Atlanta Hawks at Houston Rockets – February 22, 2004
Another triple-overtime game, another bad team overachieving in Houston. The Atlanta Hawks were just 18-38 entering their matchup with the 32-23 Rockets but had some huge performances from Jason Terry and Stephen Jackson to keep them afloat for 58 minutes.
Terry and Jackson finished with 27 and 24 points while 6-9 power forward Chris Crawford contributed 19 for Atlanta. Serbian center Zeljko Rebraca, a career 5.9 points-per-game scorer, also put in 18 points on 9-of-13 from the field.
The real star of the game, however, was Yao Ming, who missed just six of his 21 attempts from the field and took over in the third overtime to lead the Rockets to a 123-121 victory. All-in-all, the Hall of Famer scored a career-high 41 points in the contest to go along with 16 rebounds and seven assists.
After Jim Jackson kept Houston alive with a 3-pointer to tie the game at 114 with 5.8 seconds left in double overtime, the third OT was all Yao. After scoring on the opening possession, he put in another seven points to finish the period with eight points to Atlanta’s seven.
Also helping pace the Rockets to the victory was Cuttino Mobley, who contributed 28 points and seven rebounds.
Next: A Halfcourt Heave Forces OT