Olajuwon, Rockets Tie Series : NBA playoffs: Rocket center scores 24 points and blocks eight shots to fuel the Rockets. The series will return to Seattle at 2-2.

From Associated Press

Hakeem Olajuwon had 24 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocked shots as the Houston Rockets pulled even with the Seattle SuperSonics after four games of the Western Conference semifinals with a 103-92 victory Sunday night.

“Defense can be a constant, even if you’re not shooting well,” Rocket guard Kenny Smith said. “We set the tone early defensively.”

After the Rockets took an early lead, they fended off several attempted Seattle comebacks, led by Olajuwon’s dominance in the middle.


“I hate to give up any easy baskets,” Olajuwon said. “If they’re going to shoot, I’m going to make sure they work for what they get.”

The fifth game will be played Tuesday night at Seattle before the best-of-seven series returns to Houston on Thursday.

“It’s very simple now,” SuperSonic Coach George Karl said. “It’s a three-game series, and we have the home-court advantage.”

The Rockets didn’t take total control of the game until a 13-4 run put them ahead, 90-75, with 6:54 to play.

Shawn Kemp led the SuperSonics with 23 points and 18 rebounds.