The Houston Rockets’ Keys To Winning Game 6

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

HOUSTON (CBS Houston) - The Rockets are two wins away from becoming the first team in NBA history to clinch a seven-game series after starting 0-3.  After winning two in a row against Oklahoma City, the Rockets kept their playoff hopes alive and forced a Game 6 at home. As the Houston prepares for Friday night’s match-up at Toyota Center, team confidence and momentum are at an all-time high. When did the balance of power shift between the first-seed Thunder and eighth-seed Rockets? For Harden the change happened before the Rockets’ 105-103 victory in Game 4 at home.

“The last game at home, when we got a win. We just came out (to Oklahoma City) and played pressure-free. That was our mindset going into the game. “Harden said after Wednesday night’s 107-100 win. “Same thing back at home, just go out there and hoop. We are an eight-seed. Nobody was expecting us to win. Just give it what we got. Simple.”

Harden, who was diagnosed with strep throat Thursday, was the picture of good health on the floor in Game 5, playing 42 minutes and scoring 31 pionts, 8 rebounds, and shooting 7-9 from 3-point range.

For Beverley, losing 102-105 in a close-fought Game 2, gave the team the confidence that they could compete and ultimately pull out a win against the Thunder.

“To add to that, I’d say it kind of changed after Game 2 when we were in a game here in the fourth quarter and we had the lead. We lost but we took from that that we can really play with them and that rolled over into the third game. We came up short there but we got the win in the fourth game so there was definitely some confidence building from Game 2.”

The Rockets hope to extend the series Friday night with a win but need to continue to do what has made them successful against the Thunder. Coach McHale is happy to be returning to a home crowd.

“We gotta go play friday night. The Center will be happening, it will be rocking. it will be fun to play. We gotta come out again and execute, do what we do and try to attack the rim as much as we can. Make them collapse, throw out, knock down some threes, and just play our style of basketball.”

The Rockets looked comfortable in Game 5 and Harden feels that a constant, high-shooting style of play is what the Rockets’ game plan needs to be.

“We have to move the ball. We have to be in attack mode and be ready to shoot for 48 minutes. We can’t have spurts where we are stagnant because that’s when they go on their runs. (Wednesday night) we put a 48-minute game together,” Harden said.

Coach Kevin McHale believes the team’s success comes from their mental toughness. “I’ve said it all year long. The beauty of this group of kids/young men are they fight. We’ve had bad games this year but we’ve turned around and had good games behind it.  They guys are battlers and that’s, for me, a huge part of this league. “

If the Rockets win Game 6, they will be only the fourth team in NBA playoffs to force a Game 7 after an 0-3 start. With all the pressure on the Thunder, the Rockets hope to add their third-straight victory Friday night to make history. Game 6 between the Rockets and Thunder tips off at 8:30 CT in the Toyota Center.

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Today promised to be an extraordinary day in an extraordinary case: the alleged sexual abuse of children by clergy and lay teachers in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Retired Catholic cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua was being questioned in the case, in private but on videotape, at his residence at St. Charles Borromeo seminary in Wynnewood, Pa. The trial judge and attorneys in the case were expected to question Cardinal Bevilacqua, who is not charged,  about his knowledge of aspects of the case that occurred under his watch. But there are issues of competency -- his counsel says the 88-year-old cardinal suffers from cancer and dementia and other infirmities.   But if his testimony is relevant and competent, it would be presented to the jury at trial, scheduled for early 2012, although his testimony now would not necessarily preclude his live testimony at trial. Four of the defendants, three priests and a lay teacher, allegedly sexually assaulted young boys. The final defendant, Monsignor William Lynn, allegedly endangered children by transferring predator priests to other assignments while not blocking their access to children. All of the defendants have pleaded not guilty. Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio 1060   [listicle id=55129 show_title=true]
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