Mavs Extend the Series With Game 4 Win
*Photo via Mavs.com
Game 4: Houston Rockets vs Dallas Mavericks
In game four, the first “win or go home” game for the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks defeated the Houston Rockets, 121-109.
The Rockets came out aggressive scoring, twenty of their first twenty-one points in the paint. The Rockets would go on a 13 to four run to end the first, and take a nine point lead.
At the end of the first the Mavericks were shooting 50 percent from the field, however, the Rockets shot 68 percent with most of their shots coming from the paint.
Into the second quarter we saw the physical play really pick up. After a foul on Dwight Howard under the basket, Dirk Nowitzki felt as if Howard had thrown an elbow, no call was made.
Several positions later, after a sequence of turnovers. Howard gathered to go up for a layup, when Devin Harris threw him to the ground. Harris received a technical foul on the play. This seemed to spark the Mavs, who would go on a 13 to two run themselves, and finish with a 36 point quarter and an eight point lead at the half.
At the half the Rockets were just two for 14 from behind the arc, and as well went just 13 for 23 from the line. Howard was one for nine himself.
The top player from the first half was none other than J.J Barea. Barea had 13 points, eight assist and three rebounds.
The Rockets came out in the second half flat, started off 0 for 12 shooting. The Rockets didn’t make their first shot of the half until 3:48 was remaining in the quarter. The Mavericks would continue their hot shooting and increase their lead. The Mavericks shot 68 percent in the third, and had another big 33 point quarter to make it a 19 point lead.
The fourth quarter we saw the Rockets get hot and quick. The Rockets behind 18 fourth quarter points from Josh Smith and some big threes, were able to cut the Mavericks lead down to nine points. However, it wouldn’t get any closer from there.The Mavericks behind Al-Farouq Aminu and Dirk Nowitzki, would put the final touches on the Mavericks win.
Player of the Game: Monta Ellis was electric in game four. Ellis played his best defense all series and took the bulk of the scoring on his own shoulders. Ellis had 31 points, three assists and six rebounds.
Dud of the Game: Dwight Howard had his worst game of the series so far. After a ten point first quarter, he finished with just thirteen. Along with those thirteen points, he was just three for 13 from the line, as well he just had seven rebounds.
Stat of the game: The rebound differential was huge in this Maverick win. The Mavericks out-rebounded the Rockets 52 to 38, with 16 of those being offensive rebounds, which led to 19 second chance Maverick points.
Breakdown: The Rockets ran into the issue of missing shots, the Rockets went just seven for 31 from three, and 26 for 40 from the line. James Harden as well needs to be more efficient, Harden can’t go one for seven from three when they need clutch buckets. As well Trevor Ariza has been a non-factor much of this series. Ariza was just two for 10. and missed all five of his three point attempts. The three point shooting has been what the Rockets lived and died by much of the season, another game four performance could force this series seven games.
The Mavericks need to keep their foot on the gas, since Rondo’s injury they have scored a total of 249 points between game three and four. The Mavericks as well got great contributions from Aminu and Barea, who both started tonight and both put up double-double figures. The Mavericks did have a very poor free throw shooting night, which could have helped put this game out of reach sooner. The Mavericks played hard tonight and the work they did on the offensive glass( leading to 18 second chance points) was the difference. If the Mavericks have another game three or four type of offensive performance in game five, this series could be extended longer than Rockets fans would want.
The Houston Rockets lead the series 3-1. Game five is Tuesday at 8:00pm on TNT.