DALLAS, TX–The Dallas Mavericks lost to the Houston Rockets at home on Thursday night by a final score of 108-101. James Harden led all scorers with 24 points while Dirk Nowitzki added 21 points of his own. With its win tonight, Houston wins the season series against Dallas 3-1.
The Mavs, despite playing on the second night of a back to back, came out of the gates firing and immediately went on a 10-0 run to start the game. However, Dallas unable to sustain a lead for the majority of the night, with Houston answering almost every Dallas run with a run of their own.
Late in the first quarter, Dallas began intentionally fouling Houston’s Joey Dorsey, who is a 24% free throw shooter on the year. This “hack-a-Dorsey” strategy almost worked, with Dorsey missing five of his six three throws. Unfortunately, the Mavericks were unable to secure the rebound on two of the three trips to the line.
After outscoring Houston 30-19 in the second quarter, the Mavericks took a 55-47 led into the break, despite missing several free throws. Monta Ellis even missed a breakaway layup as time expired in the half.
Al-Farouq-Aminu had another nice night against the Rockets, scoring 7 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. Aminu provided a spark off the bench, producing several key hustle plays, including a highlight reel block on Dwight Howard.
Midway through the third quarter, Chandler Parsons left the game and headed to the locker room with what training personnel described as “right knee soreness.” He did not return to the game and there is no word on when he could return to the court.
Going into the fourth quarter with an 83-77 lead, the Mavs fell flat, as Houston outscored Dallas 31-18 in the final frame. The Mavericks, normally a good free throw shooting team, shot 70.4% from the line, with guys like Monta missing from the charity stripe. It didn’t help that the Mavericks put Houston into the bonus with 6:12 left to play, after committing three fouls in a matter of 45 seconds, either. Nevertheless, this game was one the Mavs could have used from a moral standpoint. Instead, they lost by seven and also lose their starting small forward to injury. If you’re a Dallas fan, hold your breath and hope Parson’s injury is nothing serious.
In terms of seeding, Dallas is almost locked into the 7 seed. Right now, it’s a waiting game to see if the Mavericks will get the Rockets or Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs. Tonight’s win put Houston ½ game ahead of Memphis for the #2 seed in the West.
- Chandler Parsons left the game in the third quarter after injuring his knee. No word on the severity or when he could return.
- Rajon Rondo did not play in the second half until the 7 minute mark of the fourth quarter. Head coach Rick Carlisle went to Devin Harris and J.J. Barea down the stretch.
- James Harden, after coming off a career high 51 points last night against the Kings, was held to just 24 points on 6/15 shooting.
- The Rockets have three members on their team (Dwight Howard, Joey Dorsey and Clint Capela) shooting below 50% from the free throw line.
Dallas will take on the Golden State Warriors Saturday night. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CST at the American Airlines Center.
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