DALLAS, Texas–Despite a team-high 20 points from Dwight Powell and a season-high 13 assists from J.J. Barea, the Dallas Mavericks fell 105-82 to the Houston Rockets on Sunday night at the American Airlines Center.
“We have had some poor scheduling luck, let’s just put it that way. I think in ten of our last twelve games against these guys they have been rested and we have been coming off of a back to back,” Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said. “Playing back to back is going to affect your shooting. But look, they are a great team, even without Harden. They did what they had to do and we just couldn’t make enough shots. And, when it counted, we couldn’t get stops.”
The Mavericks were up six (46-40) with under 3 minutes to go in the second quarter, but the Rockets closed the period on an 8-1 run and regained the lead (48-47) going into the half. Houston then led the entire second half.
“They did a pretty good job playing defense,” Dennis Smith Jr. said after the game. “I got to be better, get my teammate involved better, do better job of making shots, it’s nothing a night in the gym can’t fix.”
Smith Jr. finished the game with just four points on 2-of-12 shootings and four assists in 31 minutes. Harrison Barnes also struggled, shooting just 4-of-16, finishing with 14 points. Dirk Nowitzki finished with 13 points.
The Mavs were without Wesley Matthews (right leg injury), Dorian Finney-Smith (return from injury management), Salah Mejri (right hamstring strain) and Seth Curry (left leg surgery). The Rockets were without James Harden due to with left knee soreness.
“It would have been great to go into the third quarter with a halftime lead,” Carlisle said. “But the first quarter and the third quarter were a big problem. But, they are really good and we didn’t have a good night.”
The Mavs are off today before heading to New York to face the Knicks on Tuesday, March 13 at 6:30 p.m. CT
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