Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The Houston Rockets looked pretty stagnant against the Charlotte Bobcats on Opening Night, but were able to win with relative ease. In the second game of the season the Dallas Mavericks rolled into Houston, and the offense early on was far from stagnant. The Rockets defeated the Mavericks 113-105, behind 34 points form James Harden, and 13 points and 16 boards from Dwight Howard.
The Rockets jumped off to a 38 – 22 point first quarter lead behind 12 points from James Harden, and 9 boards from Dwight Howard. The offense was also aided by Omri Casspi who had 9 points in the first half after having to check in early when Omer Asik got in foul trouble.
What appeared as an offensive explosion at the half, with the Rockets up 61-40, took a turn for the worse in the third quarter. Both the Rockets and Mavericks, played what was a grueling and foul-laden second half, that even included an appearance of the Hack-A-Howard. Howard went 5-10 during the stretch and the Mavericks were unable to cut much of the defect until under 5 minutes in the 4th when the Mavs cut the lead to 5.
Both Omer Asik and Dirk Nowitzki fouled out, but Asik was still able to pull down 12 boards. Early in the third quarter the Mavericks turned to the zone-defense and it clearly caused the Rockets offense problems. The Rockets finished with 23 turnovers, but were able to play good enough defense on the other end holding the Mavericks to 38% shooting. The Mavericks shot exactly 100 shots, and made only 38 of them.
Omri Casspi finished with 12 points going 3-3 from deep, Jeremy Lin had 14 points, 4 dimes, but lead all Rockets with 6 turnovers. Aaron Brooks, who saw more court action due to the injury of Patrick Beverley, finished with 13 points and a dagger three down the stretch to seal the game.
The Rockets now head to Utah to face the Jazz tomorrow night.
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