The Dallas Mavericks continued their turnaround by extending their winning streak to four games with a victory over the Houston Rockets Wednesday night, 105-100.
Dallas built substantial leads repeatedly during the game only to see the Rockets continually fight back and led by only one late in the fourth quarter. A huge block by Elton Brand and a steal by Dahntay Jones helped seal the victory for the Mavs.
The Mavs again had balanced scoring, which has been one of the keys in changing their fortunes, but also continued to show improved defense, which proved to be the critical factor in stopping the highest scoring team in the league. Shawn Marion guarded James Harden for most of the night, with help from Jones and Jae Crowder, en route to limiting Harden to 5-of-23 shooting. Brand and Jones’ key plays with the clock ticking down sealed the win while Brand collected his 400th career double-double, notching 11 points and 10 boards off the bench.
In another appearance of a triple-headed monster with almost identical stats, the Mavs were led by Dirk Nowitzki with 19 points while Shawn Marion and O. J. Mayo both notched 18 and the trio grabbed 8, 9 and 8 rebounds respectively. Mayo also had another great all-around game adding 8 assists.
Harden managed 20 points on the night, nearly half at the free-throw line as the Mavericks challenged his shots and he frequently came up empty. Jeremy Lin had 19 points and led the fourth-quarter surge that almost led them to victory and Chandler Parsons added 18. Omer Asik added 12 points and 15 rebounds.
While the Mavs have won four in a row, the slumping Rockets have lost 5 straight. Full report coming up on the Smoking Cuban as well as a preview of Friday’s game against the Thunder.