Houston Rockets 100 Dallas Mavericks 95
The Positives: While the starting unit got off to slow starts at the beginning of both halves, the Rockets offensive attack looks to be in season mode as they shot over 46 percent(13 for 28) from the 3-point line. James Harden made 4 of 5 from behind the arc, and lead the way with 19 points, while Dwight Howard finished 15 points and 17 rebounds in 29 minutes.
With Howard and Omer Asik in the starting lineup together, the Rockets dominated the boards, gaining a 54-42 advantage. Coach Kevin McHale played an 8 man rotation for most of the game, and the bench produced nicely, with Patrick Beverley, Francisco Garcia, and Omri Casspi all scoring in double digits. Beverley finished with 10 points and 5 assists, Garcia scored 15 points on 5 three-pointers, and Casspi added 10 points as well.
The Rockets trailed for most of the first half until they went on a 10-2 run to close out the second quarter.
The Negatives: The Howard/Asik combination seemed raw for most of the time that the two were on the floor together. The Rockets were outscored 19-14 in the 1st quarter while the duo played together, and were outscored again 12-8 in the 3rd quarter. Asik looked rusty for most of the first half, but bounced back nicely by finishing with 9 rebounds. Jeremy Lin struggled early on as well, and was able to finish strong with 6 points and 8 assists. The Rockets also were not able to get out and run with the 2 big men in the lineup, and finished with just 11 fast break points.
The Rockets had stretches where they looked completely out of sync on some offensive possessions, and it showed as they committed 23 turnovers. There was also a stretch in the first 6 minutes of the third quarter where the Rockets committed 8 turnovers. While Harden played a fairly efficient game, his turnover problems showed back up again as he accounted for 7 of them himself.
On Tap: The Rockets will close out the pre-season by playing 2 road games back-to-back, first in San Antonio on Thursday, and then in Memphis on Friday. The Thursday game against the Spurs will be televised nationally on TNT.