It was an incredible game between the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets as the two Texas teams battled it out on Monday. The Mavericks’ Luka Doncic was unstoppable and Tim Hardaway Jr. had a season-best point total to derail the Rockets, who were down by double digits at various points in the game.
The Houston Rockets fought back and almost led in the fourth quarter, but the Dallas Mavericks staved off every rally.
Here are our five hits and flops from the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets game:
Hit: Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
It was the Luka Doncic show from the beginning. The Dallas Mavericks' star scored 20 points in the first half alone, picking apart the Houston Rockets' defense like a hot knife through butter. Houston had no answer for Doncic who either scored or assisted almost every time down the floor.
Doncic finished the game with a triple-double; a 33-point, 16-rebound, and 11-assist masterpiece that deflated the Rockets. He had a difficult time taking care of the ball (eight turnovers) but it didn’t matter as his team came through for him when he needed them the most.
Flop: DeMarcus Cousins (Houston Rockets)
It’s not entirely DeMarcus Cousins’ fault that he got his second technical, so he’s off the hook for that. That second technical foul that the referee gave him was based on a very simple frustrated look coming from a player who was merely asking for a foul call from an official.
The second tech came within 3 minutes of his first one, which was bizarre as well.
But the fact that Cousins wasn’t able to play more than half the game is the problem. Since he already had the first technical, he could have used restraint in talking to the officials from that point forward.
Hit: Christian Wood (Houston Rockets)
The Houston Rockets had the best big man on the floor with Christian Wood delivering the goods. Wood had 23 points on eight-of-15 shooting from the floor and seven-of-eight from the line. He also had seven rebounds, a steal, and a block to keep the Rockets within striking distance for most of the second half.
Even though he missed all five of his 3-point attempts, Wood steadied Houston’s ship as much as he could as the Dallas Mavericks rained down points from all over the floor.
Flop: James Harden (Houston Rockets)
Any time a player puts up 21 points, 10 assists, and three rebounds, it’s usually a good night. Not so for a player of James Harden’s caliber. It was a poor shooting night for the former MVP whose shot-making only came in spurts.
He was five-of-17 from the field, including three-of-11 from 3-point range. This game was supposed to be a matchup of superstar guards, but only one of them showed up for the full 48 minutes. Harden was sleepwalking at times, which cost the Rockets the game.
Hit: Tim Hardaway Jr. (Dallas Mavericks)
Luka Doncic received the help he was looking for from Tim Hardaway Jr., who came through with a season-high 30 points on a scorching 11-of-14 shooting from the field. More than that, he shot 8eight-of-10 from 3-point range.
More importantly, any time that the Houston Rockets would try to pull even with the Dallas Mavericks, it was Hardaway who doused the fire.
Hardaway added seven rebounds and two assists.Published 05 Jan 2021, 09:44 IST