• Kory Waldron

The Rockets Land a Win in Game 1


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*Photo via USA Today

Game 1: Dallas Mavericks vs Houston Rockets

In the last game of the first night of the NBA playoffs, the Houston Rockets defeated the Dallas Mavericks, 118-108.

Tonight’s game started out all Rockets, with Dwight Howard leading the charge. In the first five minutes of the game; Howard had four points off two emphatic dunks, and three blocks. Off this start the Rockets jumped out to a 19-7 lead and finished the quarter up 32-19. Now the second quarter switched gears and the Mavericks took control, with some help from the 11 first half turnovers by the Rockets. Another issue was Howard and Terrance Jones both picked up their third fouls in the second quarter. Rajon Rondo was the highlight of the second, scoring 11 points, off five of eight shooting with three assists and no turnovers. Making it just a four point lead for the Rockets at the half, despite the Mavericks shooting just 13 percent from three.

In the second half we saw the Rockets pick it up, just like they started the game, feeding the ball to Howard. However at the eight minute mark, Howard would pick up his fourth personal foul and sit until the fourth. Luckily James Harden despite a poor shooting night was attacking the rim, getting to the line and setting up his teammates. The fourth quarter was closely contested until Corey Brewer caught fire hitting three, threes and drawing an and-one and converting it to push the lead out of reach. While of course possible MVP, James Harden, ended up shooting 17 free throws in the game and put the final touches on the win.

Player of the Game: The player of the game would have to go to no other than James Harden. Harden only shot four for eleven from the field; However, Harden had 11 assists and was 15/17 from the free throw line, finishing with 24 points.

Dud of the Game: Now several Maverick players could earn this title, even Dirk Nowitzki. Despite Dirks great shooting tonight, he had six turnovers, which led to 11 Rocket points. However, tonight’s dud goes to Monta Ellis. Ellis shot just five for fifteen on the night and had three turnovers. Besides late in the third with the big three and early in the fourth, you wouldn’t have really known he was in the game.

Stat of the Game: The Rockets shot 45 free throws, and scored 32 points off those attempts. The Mavericks had just 17 free throw attempts.

Breakdown: The Dallas Mavericks are in for a short series if tonight’s play continues. Without Dirk and J.J Barea the Mavericks would have shot a horrid 35 percent from the field. As well the Mavericks had 17 turnovers and 28 personal fouls, the Mavericks are a team that needs to play clean games to make up for their lack of defense.

For the Houston Rockets, you love how game one turned out. Harden didn’t have a great night shooting, but everything else was dare I say MVP like? Also for this Rocket team, who is turnover prone, only had 13 tonight, a huge positive for them. Another positive is Dwight Howard looked great tonight, and you can’t expect him to be in foul trouble every game this series.

The Rockets are in the driver seat and I still believe this series goes six, but the Mavericks have work to do.

The Houston Rockets lead 1-0. Game 2 is Tuesday at 8:30 on TNT.

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