Dec 27, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) reacts after scoring during the first half against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Rockets 3-point barrage leads them to a season sweep over their I-45 rivals, Dallas Mavericks.
Following a victory over the Phoenix Suns, the Houston Rockets continued their mini winning streak, against their I-45 rivals Dallas Mavericks, Tuesday, at American Airlines Arena. Although Dallas has played better since the return of Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks were no match for the Rockets.
The Rockets came out and manhandled the Mavericks early during the first quarter. They shot over 60 percent from the field and led 15-4 within minutes after the opening tip. Although Houston built 14 point lead, Dallas closed the quarter on a 21-7 run. With both teams tied at 31 apiece.
After a six-minute stretch in which the Mavericks could not miss, that was the closest Dallas came within Houston during the game. The Rockets outscore their in-state nemesis 35-16 during the second quarter and took a 66-47 lead into the half.
While the Mavericks took a disrespectful and physical turn in the third, it wasn’t enough to take Houston out of their mojo. The Rocket led 98-74 after the third where the game was well in Houston’s hands.
Dec 27, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Nene Hilario (42) dunks past Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes (40) during the second half at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Rockets Starting Frontcourt
It was another productive night for Nene. He had a great night on the offensive end giving the Rockets a solid presence in the paint. As well as defensively with his solid play on defense. 12 points, 8 rebounds, 1 block, Plus/Minus (+29)
Ryan Anderson had a field day in Dallas. Perhaps, his most efficient game of the season. He had a great night shooting the ball, perhaps his best of the season. With fingers crossed, let us hope that Anderson’s shooting can become more consistent. 22 points, 7/12 FG, 1 block. Plus/Minus (+33)
Trevor Ariza had a mediocre performance in Memphis. Not the player Rockets fans have got accustomed to seeing. He had a quiet night offensively but Houston didn’t need him to do much against Dallas. However, his night came to an end early after receiving his second technical while trying to confront Mavericks’ Salah Mejri. 9 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal. Plus/Minus (+13).
Dec 27, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) reacts in front of Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews (23) after scoring during the first half at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Due to a bruised thigh by Patrick Beverley, Corey Brower got the nod from D’Antoni to start. He played a fairly good game and his defense played a huge factor in Houston holding the Mavericks to 16 second quarter points. 9 points, 7 rebounds, Plus/Minus (+13)
What is there left to say about James Harden? It was another MVP-worthy performance by The Beard who only needed three-quarters to cause damage to the Mavericks. One of best games of the year. 34 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds, Plus/Minus (+29)
Dec 27, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes (40) drives to the basket as Houston Rockets center Nene Hilario (42) defends during the first quarter at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
It was a solid performance for the Rockets’ bench as a whole. However, Sam Dekker stood out the most. While on the floor, Dekker provided the Rockets with a consistent rebounder in the low post. As well as a solid scorer on offense. 7 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals Plus/Minus (-1)
For Mavericks fans, there was not much to cheer for. Thankfully Harrison Barnes gave Dallas something nice to see. However, in the Words of Calvin Murphy, the Mavs performance was an embarrassment to basketball. As well as disrespectful the way the Mavericks handled themselves in an embarrassing loss to Houston. 22 points, 3 rebounds. Plus/Minus (-6)
Following the win, the Houston Rockets will look to expand their winning streak, Friday, against the Los Angeles Clippers in Houston.