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Cold-Shooting Mavericks Fall to Harden Fueled Rockets

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 20: Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks and Yogi Ferrell #11 of the Dallas Mavericks react to a call while taking on the Sacramento Kings in the second half at American Airlines Center on October 20, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 20: Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks and Yogi Ferrell #11 of the Dallas Mavericks react to a call while taking on the Sacramento Kings in the second half at American Airlines Center on October 20, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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The Mavericks fell behind early and could never get into an offensive rhythm as they fell to 0-3 on the young season.

The bearded one prevailed once again. The Mavericks faltered in the latest installment of the in-state clash and fell 107-91 on Saturday night. Dallas never found an offensive groove and continued their losing ways against the Rockets, dropping each of their last five meetings.

Yogi Ferrell logged a team-high 41 minutes and led the Mavericks in scoring with 19. Harrison Barnes chipped in 14 although he connected on just five of his seventeen shots from the field. Without Dennis Smith Jr. in the fold, the Mavericks looked disjointed on offense and ended up shooting just 36.9% for the night.

On the other end, Harden scored early and often, pouring in 12 in the opening frame and finishing with an impressive 29/7/3 stat line. Behind Harden’s charge, the Rockets lead ballooned from a manageable 13 points after the first to an embarrassing 34 by the third quarter. The Mavericks managed to save face by outscoring the Rockets by 18 in the closing frame, but the outcome of the game was never in doubt.

HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 21: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks on October 21, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 21: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks on October 21, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Looking Ahead

The Mavericks remain winless on the season, and the upcoming schedule only gets tougher. In fact, 14 of the next 18 games will be played against last year’s playoff teams. The other four games you ask? Two dates with the up and coming Timberwolves, a showdown with Embiid and R.O.Y. hopeful Ben Simmons and a clash against the Twin Towers of New Orleans.

If Carlisle and the Mavs don’t right the ship soon, the season could quickly go down a whirlpool to irrelevance. With Dennis Smith’s return on the horizon, the Mavericks will hope to avoid last year’s disastrous start.

A situation worth monitoring is Nerlens Noel’s playing time. The big man played just 16 minutes tonight, posting a forgettable 4 points and five rebounds. Only time will tell if Noel will begin to speak out, since his limited court action handicaps his case for a lucrative contract.

Next: The Dallas Mavericks Should Trade a Big

The Mavericks next opportunity to put a win on the board will come at home on Monday against the defending champions at 7:30 CDT.

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