• Kory Waldron

Rockets Dunk Over Mavs for Game 2 Win

josh smith ust.jpg

*Photo via Yahoo-Sports

Game 2: Dallas Mavericks vs Houston Rockets

In game two, the last game before heading to Dallas, the Houston Rockets defeat the Dallas Mavericks 111-99.

Tonights game started out all Rockets again. The Rockets shot off to a quick seven nothing run, while forcing six Maverick turnovers in the first quarter. James Harden was aggressive in the first, scoring ten points while dishing out two assists. However, due to poor Rocket team shooting, just 32 percent. The Mavericks were able to take advantage and take a 24-23 lead.

Into the second quarter, chippy play began to start. A little scuffle under the hoop between Tyson Chandler and Dwight Howard; lead to a technical foul on Chandler. The second quarter was back and forth with no team being able to pull away. At the half it was 53-51 Rockets, with Harden leading the way with 16 points, four assists and three rebounds. The Mavericks continued to struggle from behind the arc, shooting just 17 percent from deep. One positive for the Mavericks, J.J Bareas play off the bench. He subbed for Rajon Rondo, who seemed disconnected much of the first half.

The second half started with much of the same, within the first 30 seconds of the half Rondo picked up his third and fourth foul, and a technical, before getting benched. Terrence Jones would also leave midway in the third quarter, with a second nose injury from accidental contact with Dwight Howard. Josh Smith would get on a roll in the third and score nine points in just four minutes. The Rockets were in pure attack mode in the third, drawing multiple “and-one” attempts. Despite this, the Mavericks remained in the game behind stellar play of Monta Ellis and Barea, as well as the all around poor shooting by the Rockets. At the end of the third the Mavericks trailed just 81-80.

To start off the fourth the Rockets jumped out to a 12-3 run behind none other than Josh Smith. Smith seemed to be everywhere dropping assists after assists with a total of 7 in the fourth, leading the Rocket charge. With this run the Rockets went on to start the fourth quarter they never looked back and would cruise to a double figure win.

Player of the Game: Josh Smith; with the game being as close as it was all night, his play in the second half was the deciding factor on who won this game. Smith finished with 15 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.

Dud of the Game: Dirk Nowitzki was horrid tonight, following his 10 for 14 shooting in game one, he lost his touch in game two. Dirk shot just three for fourteen tonight for ten points. Rondo could as well be considered a dud however he didn’t really touch the court much.

Stat of the Game: The Rockets shot under 40 percent in the first half, and above 50 percent in the second. On the opposite side of that, the Mavericks shot just over 40 percent in the first and under 35 percent in the second half.

Breakdown: Compared to game one, the Mavericks played game two a lot cleaner in the sense of turnovers. The Mavericks only had ten turnovers, as the Rockets had just twelve. However, the Mavericks again shoot under 40 percent from the field and just 27 percent from three. Another issue is Rondo, the internal issue of Rondo seems to be leaking onto the court. Rondo was not in this game and had no impact again. If the Mavericks want to win this series, they need to shoot better collectively and Rondo must get involved.

The Rockets played another solid game of basketball, despite a sluggish night of shooting. The Rockets cleaned up the turnover issues following game one, as well besides Harden and Howard. The role players again stepped up for the Rockets, Corey Brewer and Josh Smith hit and set up key shots down the stretch and both seem to be the energy which ignites this Rockets offense. When the role players take the scoring weight off Hardens back, this team will remain to much for the Mavericks.

The Houston Rockets lead 2-0. Game three is Friday at 6:00pm on ESPN.

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