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NBA 2015 Playoffs: Houston Rockets Game 4 Player Grades

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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Apr 26, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler (6) and Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) look for the rebound in game four of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rockets Miss Opportunity To Sweep Mavericks and Let Dallas Back in Series:

Rockets Lead Series: 3-1

They say the hardest game to win is the close out game and for Houston they discovered that was the case tonight as they lost for the first time in the series. Dallas played aggressively and then turned the game into a track meet.

79. . 109. 169. 121

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The weird thing was how Dwight Howard started the game and then seemingly disappeared after the first quarter. He had 10 points in the first quarter and only THREE the rest of the game.

Lee Golden will give you a complete game summary in the morning but suffice to say the Mavericks dominance on the boards (52-38) was key to the win.

The other key factors leading to the loss were:

  • Poor perimeter defense – Dallas shot 35.7% from three and hit 10 (which was actually much better in the 4Q given the Mav’s were shooting 42.9% after the third quarter
  • Houston went 9:57 without scoring at one point which is when the game was lost
  • Rick Carlisle became a factor in the game by starting Al-Farouq Aminu which energized the starting line-up and put length on Harden

James Harden will need to be more of a presence in Game 5 and more importantly they’ll need to defend. Look for the Rockets to control the pace, take back over the boards and above all defend.

For their part Dallas certainly looks more cohesive offensively without Rajon Rondo on the team, but the reason they got him also was where their glaring deficiencies showed .. defense.

With the Clippers tying the series against the Spurs the Rockets missed an opportunity to win and get rest. They won’t make that mistake twice.

Check back in the morning for our post game wrap up and follow us for all the playoff coverage of the Rockets as they attempt to win the NBA Championship. And, make sure you follow @SpaceCity_Scoop as well as our Facebook page and my personal twitter @TTOTambz

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