The Houston Rockets extended their season with a 128-115 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the NBA's Western Conference Finals Monday night. However, some fans had to stick around even longer than they expected due to a weather advisory.
As the game's final minutes were played shortly before 11 p.m. local time, the Rockets' home arena, the Toyota Center, posted a message on the scoreboard advising fans not to leave immediately after the game due to severe flooding in the city.
Late Monday, the National Weather Service declared a flash flood emergency for southwest Harris County as a severe storm brought heavy rain to the Houston area. The weather service reported 5 to 7 inches had fallen there Monday night and an additional 2 to 4 inches were possible.
The Houston Chronicle reported that most of the Rockets fans and players left anyway, opting to take their chances on the roads. But others, including star center Dwight Howard, chose to ride out the storm in the arena. The Associated Press reported that around 200 fans were still in the Toyota Center as of shortly before 4 a.m. local time Tuesday.
"There's no need to try to push it," Howard told the paper after the game. "One of my friends just hit me up and said he's stuck on the highway now. I don't think it's smart for anybody to try to be out on this weather."
At one point, Howard came back onto the court from the locker room to greet some fans who stayed, and even had some entertainment suggestions to take the edge off the wait.
"They're showing the Weather Channel right now," the eight-time All-Star said. "They need to put on a movie or something."
As the crowd waited, arena employees struck the building's basketball setup to prepare for a scheduled Neil Diamond concert Tuesday night. The arena would not host the Rockets again until Game 6, which is scheduled for Friday night, if necessary.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.