Rockets history: Dwight Howard’s dominance ends Mavs’ season

Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

On this day in Houston Rockets history, Dwight Howard had a masterful all-around game, which sent the Dallas Mavericks packing after just five games.

The 2014-15 season was the Houston Rockets‘ most successful season with Dwight Howard on the roster. It’s not exactly surprising, as this was Howard’s second season in Houston, and conventional wisdom states the second season is always better than the first, because it takes time to adjust to playing on a new team.

It’s the very reason why it took LeBron James and the Miami Heat two years to win a championship together, because it’s not always the easiest to change addresses and naturally adjust on the fly. We spoke with former Rockets guard Terry Teagle about this and he also agreed.

Teagle stated, “People think just because you change teams that you’ll be the exact same player as you were before. That doesn’t always happen.”

The Rockets finished Dwight’s first season in Houston with the fourth seed in the Western Conference, but improved to the second seed in the 2014-15 season. The Rockets made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals, before getting eliminated by the eventual champion Golden State Warriors that season.

One of the best all-around games Howard had during the Rockets’ championship run took place on April 28th, which was Game 5 of the Rockets opening round duel against the Dallas Mavericks. With the Rockets leading the series 3-1, they were looking to close out the Mavs in the Toyota Center.

Howard certainly did his part to ensure the Rockets did just that, as he finished the game with 18 points and 19 rebounds, which was a game-high. Howard also was a menace on defense, as he finished with four steals and four blocks, which made life difficult for the Mavs.

On that day, Howard led the Rockets in blocks, rebounds, and steals. The Rockets allowed just 71 points per 100 possessions in which D12 was on the floor, which was the best defensive rating on not only the team, but also the game.

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Howard had quite the day, and it led to a series ending victory, by a margin of 103-94.