Doubt could have seeped into the minds of every one of the
To be honest, perhaps the Rockets should have doubted themselves when they were down 3-1 in the second-round playoff series to the
But these Rockets refused to succumb to doubts, pulling themselves up from the depths to make some
After they had advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 1997, all of the Rockets maintained they had remained self-assured despite the mountain they had to climb.
"It's easy to doubt when you're down 19 on the road," said
"We always had to find a way to through it, find a way to fight — and another case was being down 3-1. We just had to take it one game at a time and not look at the bigger picture."
Only eight teams had ever come back from a 3-1 deficit to win an NBA playoff series.
But the Rockets became the ninth, the first team to make that comeback since the 2006
The Rockets' franchise actually has a history of overcoming 3-1 deficits in the playoffs. The 1995 team did it against the Phoenix Suns. The current team's feat puts it with the
"There were times where we very frustrated with each other and the way that we represented ourselves as a team," said
Once the Rockets tied the series at 3-3, the odds turned in their favor of doing the improbable.
In a Game 7 of the
Houston pushed it to 97-24 by winning the last three games by an average of 15.3 points per game.
They got contributions in Game 7 from players like
"Like I said last time, we had every opportunity to give up," Howard said. "We continued to fight, continued to trust each other. We showed a lot of composure and a lot of character in the team. That was a good win against a great team."