THE Houston Rockets brought the heat from downtown even as things got heated on the court in their testy win over the Dallas Mavericks, 123-107, at the American Airlines Center on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).
James Harden poured 24 first half points as the Rockets pulled away from a 37-all game early in the second quarter with a 29-10 blitz, including five of the team’s 17 triples to enter the break with a 66-47 lead.
Houston never looked back from there, leading by as much as 29 early in the fourth, before Dallas managed to cut the lead down to 16 for the final score. The Rockets shot above 50 percent from the field and from beyond the arc in the win.
But despite the blowout, the Rockets didn’t have an easy time against the Mavs early on, with some tension-filled moments between Nene and Justin Anderson, Dirk Nowitzki and Ryan Anderson, Harden and Andrew Bogut among others. The game had eight technical fouls, two flagrants, and one ejection.
Ryan Anderson sank four triples in the game and had 15 of his 22 points in the first half to help Houston improve to 24-9. Eric Gordon added 13 markers off the bench, while Nene chipped in 12. Houston swept the season series against Dallas for the first time since 1998.
Harrison Barnes led Dallas with 21 points, while Wes Matthews added 19 but the Mavericks lost their second straight game and fell to 9-23 after winning three of its last four outings prior to the skid. Dwight Powell and Anderson each chipped in 13 markers off the bench, and Seth Curry sank three triples to finish with 11 points.
Nowitzki ended up with seven points while Bogut was scoreless but had six rebounds and two blocks but both sat out the second half.