After two lopsided losses in Games 2 and 3, the Houston Rockets hosted the San Antonio Spurs again on Sunday night. It was Game 4 of their second-round playoff series with the Spurs leading 2-1. Toyota Center in downtown Houston was fully packed with 18,000 fans as the Rockets were looking to bounce back after a tough loss in Game 3 and tie the series at two wins apiece. They entered Sunday's game having lost their previous four home games against San Antonio. Tony Parker did not play for the Spurs in this one as he suffered a season-ending leg injury.

Rookie Dejounte Murray started in his place for the second straight time.

Wire to wire victory for Houston

Houston didn't want to be heading back to San Antonio on Tuesday with a 3-1 series deficit and they played Game 4 with a sense of urgency from the beginning. They showed pride and played great team basketball on Sunday as they led from the opening tip. Midway through the first quarter it was already a double-digit lead for the Rockets (21-11) and by the end of the first period they held a 34-22 lead. San Antonio responded with a big second quarter and rallied back as they outscored Houston 31-23 in the period.

At halftime it was 57-53 for the home team. The Rockets started to pull away in the third quarter.

Early in the third they went on a 16-6 run and had a 73-59 lead. Houston scored 34 points in the period and held a 91-76 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Mike D'Antoni's team never trailed in this game and they ended up winning it easily 125-104. The Rockets connected on 19 of their 43 three-point attempts and finished the game with 28 team assists.

They held the Spurs to just 30.4% shooting behind the arc and forced them into committing 14 turnovers.

James Harden leads his team to a crucial victory

Houston had seven players in double-digit scoring in Game 4. James Harden led them with 28 points on 10-for-18 shooting. Harden also added 12 assists and five rebounds. Eric Gordon was huge off the bench for the Rockets as he scored 22 points including six three-pointers.

Trevor Ariza contributed with 16 while Ryan Anderson scored 13 points.

For the Spurs it was Jonathon Simmons who led them in scoring on Sunday night. Simmons came off the bench and finished with 17 points and four rebounds. Kawhi Leonard scored 16 points and pulled down six rebounds, while LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points.

The series is now tied at 2-2 with Game 5 scheduled for Tuesday night in San Antonio.