With a game headlined by the likes of Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Howard, James Harden, Monta Ellis, and Jose Calderon, you’d expect an exciting and free flowing game. Well not tonight, this was as ugly as a game can get. The final score was 113-105 with the Houston Rockets prevailing over the Dallas Mavericks, but outside of the first quarter when the Rockets were leading 38-22 it was an ugly game. Both teams combined for 57 fouls, 76 free throw attempts, and 34 turnovers.
The Mavericks down by 22 half way through the 2nd quarter decided to go to the matchup zone and were able to cut the lead to 11 by half time after Ellis was able to hit two free throws and a Francisco Garcia flagrant foul.
After multiple Hack-a-Dwight sequences the Rockets saw their lead shrink to 6. Yet even when the lead was within reach the Mavericks could never find any consistent rhythm on offense or defense to get a major run going, and most importantly they had no answer for Harden who showed it all from his long range bombs to his patented euro-step drives, as he finished with a game high 34 pts to lead 5 Rockets players in double figures. Howard finished with 13 pts and 16 rebounds a day after Mark Cuban’s comments.
Nowitzki fouled out with six minutes left in the 4th and finished with 22 pts but only 4 rebounds. Ellis added 20 pts but settled for the jump shot instead of attacking the basket. Calderon is now 1-15 on the season and scored a total of 5 points.
DeJuan Blair and rookie guard Gal Mekel were the only bright spots, especially in the first half. Blair finished with 11 pts and 10 rebounds as he saw his minutes increase due to Samuel Dalembert’s foul trouble and Mekel finished with a career high 11 pts and 6 assists. Jae Crowder was able to finish with 15 pts thanks to a late game flurry of 3′s.
The Mavericks committed 37 fouls as a team and shot 38% from the field.
Houston shot 34-51(66.7%) from the free throw line and out rebounded the Mavericks 51-43.
The Mavericks will fly back home to face the Memphis Grizzlies (1-1). The Grizzlies also have a double header, as they beat the Detroit Pistons in overtime. We’ll see if the extended game will give the Mavericks an edge