Houston Rockets star James Harden described their series revival against the Los Angeles Clippers as the "ultimate confidence booster".
The Rockets overcame a 3-1 deficit in the Western Conference semi-finals in the NBA play-offs, including a 19-point deficit in game six in LA, to trump the Clippers with a 113-100 victory in Sunday's game seven in Houston.
Harden said the Rockets will be buoyed by the three-game winning run, and he put their slow start to the series down to their efficiency earlier in the post-season.
The Rockets advanced in five games against the Dallas Mavericks, while the Clippers were in action for seven games against the San Antonio Spurs in their respective first-round match-ups.
"It's the ultimate confidence-booster. It's only a handful of teams that have done that, so it gave us confidence," Harden told a news conference.
"Finishing that first series [against Dallas], we took this series kind of slow in the beginning, it kind of bit us on the butt, but we fought back."
Harden took time to praise lesser lights such as Corey Brewer and Jason Terry, claiming they are among a Rockets contingent who do not get the credit they deserve.
Coach Kevin McHale lauded his side's resilience, especially in the face of 25- and 33-point thrashings in games three and four.
"I told our guys, 3-1, it feels really, really, really bad, especially when they stomp on you in game three and four," said McHale, who credited the win to Rockets fan and cancer patient, 13-year-old Sam Day.
"Our guys just ground it out, it was just one game at a time, we've had many three game winning streaks throughout the year, and our guys just rallied together.
"They did a hell of a job."
Dwight Howard said he endured some nervous moments late in game seven, and joked he was thinking, "We can't let them pull an us on us" as the Clippers closed the gap to within eight points in the final quarter.
Instead, the Rockets held on to book a spot against top seeds the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference final.