Riding the momentum from their big win against Indiana on Friday night, the Dallas Mavericks were unable to start a winning streak in Houston.
Coming into the night, Dallas was riding high after one of, if not their most, impressive wins of the season at home against Indiana the night before. On a second night of a back-to-back, the Mavs went into the division matchup with all of their healthy players active.
Even though nobody sat due to rest, the Mavs were still without Dirk Nowitzki, Andrew Bogut, and J.J. Barea due to injury.
For Houston, they too came into the game on a second night of a back-to-back as they defeated Oklahoma City last night. Sitting at 16-7 on the season, Houston is one of the better teams in the league as they are tied for the fourth spot in the West.
The James Harden vs. Wesley Matthews matchup is becoming must watch television and it didn’t disappoint in the first quarter. Not only is Matthews defending the opposing team’s best player, but he has stepped up his offensive game at the same time. Both players led their teams in scoring after the first as Matthews had 11 and Harden had 13. Houston led by nine heading into the second.
Houston used the second quarter to continue their shooting groove and ride James Harden running the show. Eric Gordon continues to thrive in his role off the bench as the shooting guard went 4-6 from behind the arc in the first half. Dallas stayed alive through balanced scoring as Houston took an 11 point lead into the half behind a first half double-double from Harden.
Deja vu of C.J. Miles took place in the form of Trevor Ariza in the third quarter as the veteran hit four straight threes in the third quarter. Even with Wesley Matthews continuing his hot shooting, Dallas simply didn’t have the fire power to keep up with the shooting by Houston. The Rockets took a 17 point lead into the fourth.
The fourth quarter was a continuation of the rest of the game as the Houston Rockets made their living from behind the arc. The Rockets finished the game by beating the Mavericks 109-87.
Arguably the biggest strength of the Houston Rockets is their outside shooting and that was on full display Saturday night. Led by Harden, Ariza and Gordon, Houston was hitting threes all night long at home.
Houston finished the night shooting 19-37 from behind the arc.
Player of the Game
The player of the game was none other than MVP candidate, James Harden.
Harden seemed to have controlled the game from the opening tip as his passing game continues to impress just as much as his scoring.
Harden finished the night with 18 points, 16 assists, and 9 rebounds.
For Dallas, Matthews finished with 26 while Barnes added 20.