Rockets News

Rockets vs. Mavericks recap: Houston’s “Big 3” improve to 19-0

By Eric Magana
DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 24: James Harden
DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 24: James Harden /

The Rockets, led by James Harden, took care of business in Dallas as they defeated the Mavericks 104-97.

The Houston Rockets (34-12) looked impossible to deal with once again as they came out victorious over the Dallas Mavericks (16-32). Last night’s victory marked the 6th consecutive game that the Rockets have beaten the rival Mavs.

As of last night’s win, the Rockets are now 19-0 when Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela all play together. While Capela may not be considered an All-Star, he creates a number of matchup problems, especially when paired with two hall-of-fame ball handlers. Unofficially, and secretly, Houston has their own “Big 3” that creates a nightmare for opponents.

Let’s take a look at the stats:

Stats of the night

James Harden: 25 points, 13 assists, 6/10 from 3-point range

Trevor Ariza: 23 points, 4 rebounds

Clint Capela: 16 points, 13 rebounds, 7/8 from the field

Recap and Highlights

Clint Capela of the Rockets
DALLAS, TX – JANUARY 24: Clint Capela #15 of the Houston Rockets dunks the ball against Dennis Smith Jr. #1 of the Dallas Mavericks in the second half at American Airlines Center on January 24, 2018 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) /

Since returning from injury against the Minnesota Timberwolves, James Harden has only scored under 20 points once. In fact, that is the only time all season Harden has failed to score 20 or more points. It is safe to say there is no more rust. Recent All-Star snub CP3 has also turned in magnificent performances as of late.

While not his best night against the Mavs, just the thought of CP3 being in the lineup causes headaches for opposing coaches. His presence on the defensive end matters and his ability to create plays can’t be understated.

Trevor Ariza continues to play well since returning from suspension. His versatility on both ends this season has been solid. And Clint Capela, ladies and gents, is no longer a secret. Perhaps, Capela is the weapon that pushes Houston over the hump. The double-double machine did it again last night. Without a doubt, Capela is an important piece to the “Big 3.”

During the 2nd quarter, the Rockets hit a wall and just couldn’t hit anything beyond the arc. As a matter of fact, it was a rough quarter overall for the Rockets. Houston only scored 13 points the entire quarter and at halftime Dallas kept it close as the Rockets led 51-44. From the 3-point range, Houston went 2/15 after a hot 10/14 start from beyond the arc.

Tip Ins

James Harden scored 25 points on just 2 free throw attempts, his season low. Clint Capela recorded his 11th straight double-digit scoring game and in games where he scores 15 or more, the Rockets are 16-2.

Speaking of Capela, did anyone see that ridiculous half-court lob pass? If not check it out:

For those that missed the game, here are the full game highlights:

Next: Chris Paul snubbed from the All-Star game

Overall, it was another nice victory for the Rockets, who sit just 3 games behind the Golden State Warriors for the top spot in the conference. However, this Rockets squad, when fully healthy, should be feared given their recent batch of performances. Next up for Houston, the New Orleans Pelicans, who are on a three-game winning streak, in New Orleans. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for more Rockets!