The Houston Rockets have taken a 1-0 series lead over the Dallas Mavericks with a 118-108 win in their first playoff game of the season, and their offense continued to light up opponents.
The Mavericks were able to make it a game in the second quarter after falling behind quickly in the first, and they even took a lead with 33 seconds left in the first half.
However, small forward Trevor Ariza helped give the Rockets back their lead with a three-pointer as nine seconds remained on the clock.
In the third quarter, the Rockets went on a 21-7 run before the Mavericks fought back again. They trimmed the Rockets’ lead to seven at the buzzer after shooting guard Monta Ellis made a three-pointer and fell back into the first row of the stands.
After a promising ending to the third quarter and promising start to the fourth for the Mavericks, the Rockets went on a 24-14 run to pull away.
Power forward Charlie Villanueva made two three-pointers toward the end of the game in two minutes of action, but they were in vain as the Rockets sealed their win with clutch free throws.
Rockets shooting guard and MVP candidate James Harden was relatively quiet from the field as he shot 4-for-11, but he made up for it by drawing fouls and made 15-of-17 of his free throws.
Harden finished with 24 points while dishing out 11 assists in a win that was an excellent team effort by the Rockets.
Rockets shooting guard Corey Brewer came off the bench and made all 24 of his minutes count by scoring 15 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter.
Seven of the nine Rockets players who saw the court scored double-digit points. Power forward Terrence Jones scored 19 points while grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out six assists.
Ariza also played an all-around solid game for the Rockets as he scored 12 points with 11 rebounds and six assists. Point guard Jason Terry scored 16 points while drilling 4-of-7 of his three-point attempts.
Center Dwight Howard only saw 17 minutes on the court due to early foul trouble, and his count increased to five.
However, he made the most of his time with 11 points, five rebounds and five blocks.
Chandler led all players in rebounds with 18 while scoring 11 points for the Mavericks. Power forward Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks in scoring with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting with eight rebounds.
Point guard Rajon Rondo added another 15 points while dishing out five assists, and interestingly enough, the Mavericks also had seven of their players score in double digits.
The rest of these players were point guard J.J. Barea(12 points), shooting guard Monta Ellis(16), small forward Chandler Parsons(10) and power forward Amar’e Stoudemire(10).
However, the Mavericks were unable to draw many fouls as they only drew 17 while the Rockets drew a whopping 45, which made them able to afford to miss as many as they did.
The Rockets shot 71.1 percent from the charity stripe as the Mavericks made 82.4 percent of their free-throw attempts.
The Mavericks will have one more opportunity to shift the momentum in their favor as they will play the Rockets in Houston again for Game 2 on Monday.