The Rockets Hold Off the Mavs for Game 3 Win
*Photo via USA Today
Game Three: Houston Rockets at Dallas Mavericks
American Airline Center, Dallas, Texas
The Houston Rockets were able to hold off a late Dallas Mavericks’ run, and came away with the 130-128 victory.
This game was an offensive explosion. The two teams put up a combine 258 points. Both teams also shot over 50 percent from the field. A lot of free-throws as well, 63 to be exact.
The stars stepped up in this one, James Harden had 42 points, Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis both finished with 34 points. There were points everywhere.
This game started just like the other two, not much defense and the Rockets had an early lead. James Harden was able to get off to a hot start hitting his first four shots, and once again the pick-and-roll game was on point. Leading to a Rocket 10 point lead at one point.
Unlike the other two games, Monta Ellis showed up early, hitting shots from all over the floor.The Mavericks also saw some nice play from the bench, from the likes of Devin Harris, J.J. Barea, and Amare Stoudemire. They helped carry on an 8-0 Maverick run, that saw the Rockets lead cut to one.
I mentioned the lack of defense, both teams shot over the 60 percent from the field. The Rockets also hit all four of their threes in their quarter. The quarter ended 42-36 with the Rockets up six.
The second quarter started with some great play from the Mavericks. They started the quarter on a 8-2 run, Dirk Nowitzki hit back-back threes. The Mavs started to roll and both teams picked up the pace even more. The Mavs really saw some good play from J.J. Barea and Monta Ellis. Ellis had 20 points in the half, on eight of 12 shooting.
This probably was the best quarter by the Mavs in the series, they saw their first six point lead of the series, and outscored the Rockets 36 to 23. An impressive quarter gave them a 72-65 going into the half.
The third quarter saw the Rockets come out and play with a lot of energy, especially Harden. Harden scored 10 of the last 12 points for the Rockets at one point. With this run the Rockets were able to take the lead in the game, but the Mavs fought back. The Mavs were able to finish the quarter only down four, after some back-forth play.
The Rockets had a nice start to the quarter again. It was ignited by the play of the Houston stars, Dwight Howard and James Harden, but they also had some help from the supporting cast of Josh Smith and Corey Brewer.
The Rockets saw their lead hang around ten from here on out. Until the Mavericks made a run towards the end of the fourth. It was lead by no other than Dirk Nowitzki. You could see Dirk wanted this win.
The Mavericks had their chances, they cut the Rockets lead down to one, but were unable to get over the hump. They even had a chance to tie at the end, but Monta Ellis was way off on a pull-up jumper. The Rockets now have a 3-0 series lead.
Player of the Game: James Harden had a career night, finishing with 42 points, shooting 15 for 24 from and he hit five threes. Oh yeah, he also had nine assists.
Dud of the Game: Tyson Chandler will get the dud for this game, he was unable to contain Dwight Howard. Howard had his way in the paint with 26 rebounds, and 11 of them being offensive.
Stat of the Game: The Rockets shot 54 percent from three in this game. That is a crazy number.
The Rockets were too much for the Mavericks down the stretch, the Mavs failed to stop them when needed. The case for most of this series.
A three game lead essentially means this series is over. The Rockets will finish this one in four or five games. The Mavericks might of made this series if they played a lick of defense.
Game four is Sunday at 9:00pm on TNT.