HOUSTON — Even with their Twin Towers intact, the Houston Rockets can't seem to figure out how to beat the Seattle SuperSonics.
The Sonics defeated Houston in four of their five National Basketball Assn. regular-season meetings when the Rockets' Twin Towers--Ralph Sampson and Akeem Olajuwon--were hobbled with injuries.
But Seattle's own dynamic duo--Tom Chambers and Dale Ellis--was too much for the Rockets Saturday. Chambers scored 9 of his 24 points in overtime, and Ellis had 34 points as the Sonics beat the Rockets, 111-106, in the opener of their second-round playoff series.
Ellis played the final minutes with five personal fouls, but it was his three-point basket with 14 seconds to play that sealed the victory. Chambers capped the scoring on a breakaway dunk with seven seconds left.
"The shot was there, time was running down and I had to do something," Ellis said. "I'll make that shot 50% of the time."
Despite his offensive output, Ellis attributed the victory to the Sonics' defense, which has been excellent since a playoff-opening 151-129 loss at Dallas.
"We are playing good team basketball, especially good team defense," Ellis said. "I think after the embarrassing game in Dallas, we really pulled together."
Olajuwon, who led Houston with 28 points, was harassed throughout the game by the Sonic defense.
The Sonics eliminated Dallas, 3 games to 1, in their first series and have won four straight playoff games.
After regulation ended tied, 97-97, Chambers hit two free throws and a basket to put the Sonics ahead in overtime. Ellis added a jumper seconds later, and the Sonics did not trail again.