basketball | nba

Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets Pick & Prediction APR 7TH 2021

FinishedTV: BSN | ATTSNToyota Center Houston

553Dallas Mavericks
554Houston Rockets

OP
0
224.5
CU
-10 -110
224.5o -105
ML
-550
425
Partials
1 2 3 4
23 19 22 29
24 23 28 27
Score
93
102
Recap

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Dallas vs. Houston Recap APR 7TH 2021

Hampered by a strained left shoulder, James Harden nearly had his streak of consecutive 30-point games come to an end before coming alive down the stretch as the host Houston Rockets defeated the Dallas Mavericks 120-104 Monday.

Harden finished with a game-high 31 points on 9-for-23 shooting and rounded out his stat line with eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals.

The Rockets relied on a collective effort to build a lead against Dallas, with four others scoring in double figures, including guard Gerald Green, who poured in 19 points in 22 minutes off the bench while drilling 5 of 8 3-pointers.

After the Mavericks sliced what was once a 21-point deficit to 109-100 on a Jalen Brunson 3-pointer with 2:52 left to play, Harden drilled back-to-back treys to mute the rally.

Harden added two free throws and then hit another 3-pointer with 52.9 seconds left to give him 31 points and extend his streak to 30 games, the third-longest in NBA history.

Harden has paced the Rockets in scoring in every game since Dec. 1, a span of 35 contests.

Eric Gordon scored 18 points, while Chris Paul and Kenneth Faried added 17 apiece for the Rockets. Paul finished with 11 assists, moving past Hall of Fame guard Gary Payton for eighth place in league history.

Harden, Paul, and Gordon finished a combined 15 of 40 on 3-pointers.

Houston shot 23 of 60 from behind the arc.

Dallas rookie forward Luka Doncic posted 21 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists to pace the Mavericks, who lost to the Rockets for the first time in three meetings this season.

Brunson tallied 13 points while Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 10 points, doing so on 3-of-11 shooting.

Dallas, which led for the final time at 15-14 following a driving layup from guard Trey Burke at the 5:18 mark of the first, committed 18 turnovers, which the Rockets converted into 26 points.

Dwight Powell finished with 12 points and four rebounds off the Dallas bench.

--Field Level Media

 

The Dallas Mavericks didn't put too much stock in their back-to-back road losses against the Utah Jazz in late January, setbacks that immediately followed COVID issues striking the team.

However, Dallas did take something from those defeats, namely the recognition that a more physical brand of defense would be required to compete against a Jazz team with the best record in the Western Conference. On Monday, the Mavericks applied those lessons learned and defeated the Jazz 111-103 in Dallas to stretch their winning streak to a season-best five games.

The Mavericks, set to visit the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, are resembling the improved team most expected entering this season. One victory doesn't signal their arrival as a contender in the West, but it does validate what they've done lately.

"Every win is a confidence (builder)," said Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, who had 31 points, nine rebounds and eight assists Monday. "Any NBA team can beat you, so every win is a confidence (builder) here. They're first in the West, so obviously it's a big win, and we've just got to keep rolling like this."

The Mavericks will be challenged to maintain their momentum. Center Kristaps Porzingis (20.2 points, 8.9 rebounds) has missed consecutive games with a wrist injury and will be sidelined for an undetermined amount of time. Dallas is accustomed to playing without Porzingis, who missed the first nine games of the season following offseason knee surgery and has been sidelined for 18 games total. Still, Porzingis has played well, and his absence will create a void.

Against Utah, forward Dorian Finney-Smith proved integral, and his versatility remains crucial to the team, particularly with Porzingis unavailable. Finney-Smith has performed especially well of late, averaging 11.2 points and 5.2 rebounds since returning from paternity leave on March 21. He scored 23 against Utah on Monday.

"He's such an important part of our team," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "We needed his defense, his rebounding and his scoring.

"He did everything, including drive the ball and make free throws, guard multiple positions and all that stuff. Obviously a very important guy to us."

The Rockets, meanwhile, are trying to find positive signs amid their latest skid. Houston dropped its fifth consecutive game Monday, falling 133-130 to the visiting Phoenix Suns.

The Houston offense, one of the worst in the league by every measure, shot 54.4 percent overall and converted 17 of 33 3-point attempts against the Suns' fifth-rated defense. The young core of Christian Wood (23 points), Kevin Porter Jr. (20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists), Jae'Sean Tate (18 points, seven rebounds, five assists) and Kenyon Martin Jr. (13 points off the bench) was particularly effective.

The losses keep piling up, but at least the Rockets believe in their potential.

"We try to take every opportunity to have a learning experience," Rockets coach Stephen Silas said. "Previous games fourth quarter, watch the film and try to do better. (Monday night) we did better as far as our execution, as far as getting the ball where we wanted it to go.

"We had 38 points in the fourth. That's a credit to our guys as far as listening, learning and getting better."

--Field Level Media

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GAMES

Last 10

W 50% L 50%
5 5
  • Sacramento L 121 - 107
  • New York L 117 - 109
  • @Memphis W 114 - 113
  • Philadelphia L 113 - 95
  • San Antonio L 119 - 117
  • Milwaukee W 101 - 116
  • @Houston L 93 - 102
  • Utah W 103 - 111
  • @Washington W 109 - 87
  • @New York W 99 - 86
W 20% L 80%
2 8
  • @Miami L 91 - 113
  • @Orlando W 114 - 110
  • Denver L 128 - 99
  • Indiana L 132 - 124
  • @Phoenix L 120 - 126
  • @Golden State L 109 - 125
  • @L.A. Clippers L 109 - 126
  • Dallas W 93 - 102
  • Phoenix L 133 - 130
  • New Orleans L 122 - 115

Next Games

  • Detroit(02-17-21) D 0 - 0
  • L.A. Lakers(01-07-19) L 107 - 97
  • L.A. Lakers(01-07-19) L 107 - 97
  • @Sacramento(08-04-20) W 114 - 110
  • @Golden State(03-23-19) W 126 - 91
  • Utah(04-24-19) W 93 - 100
  • L.A. Clippers(10-26-18) L 133 - 113
  • @Denver(12-28-20) L 111 - 124
  • Minnesota(03-17-19) W 102 - 117

Last Meetings

  • Mavericks @ Rockets 93-102
  • Mavericks @ Rockets 0-0
  • Rockets @ Mavericks 133-108
  • Mavericks @ Rockets 113-100
  • Rockets @ Mavericks 153-149
  • Rockets @ Mavericks 94-93
  • Mavericks @ Rockets 104-120
  • Rockets @ Mavericks 104-107
  • Mavericks @ Rockets 128-108
  • Rockets @ Mavericks 105-82

Eastern Conference

NBA AtlanticWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Philadelphia 76ers3918.684 22-617-12113.4108.4L17-0-3
Brooklyn Nets3919.672 23-716-12119.1114.4L16-0-4
New York Knicks3227.542 19-1013-17106.2104.3L28-0-2
Boston Celtics3127.534 18-1113-16112.4110.4L18-0-2
Toronto Raptors2434.414 14-1510-19112.0111.3L26-0-4
NBA CentralWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Milwaukee Bucks3522.614 18-1017-12119.3113.2L25-0-5
Indiana Pacers2631.456 9-1717-14113.5114.4L35-0-5
Chicago Bulls2433.421 11-1813-15112.0113.2L55-0-5
Cleveland Cavaliers2037.351 11-169-21103.8111.0L33-0-7
Detroit Pistons1840.310 11-167-24107.6111.3L14-0-6

Western Conference

NBA NorthwestWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Utah Jazz4315.741 26-317-12116.9107.7L16-0-4
Denver Nuggets3720.649 20-1017-10115.7110.3L28-0-2
Portland Trail Blazers3224.571 16-1216-12114.3114.7L14-0-6
Oklahoma City Thunder2038.345 9-2011-18105.3114.3L111-0-10
Minnesota Timberwolves1543.259 10-195-24110.2118.1L13-0-7
NBA PacificWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Phoenix Suns4116.719 23-918-7114.7108.2L18-0-2
Los Angeles Clippers4019.678 23-817-11115.0108.1L18-0-2
Los Angeles Lakers3523.603 17-1318-10109.9106.1L15-0-5
Golden State Warriors2929.500 17-1012-19112.9113.3L16-0-4
Sacramento Kings2334.404 12-1611-18114.3118.6L91-0-9

Eastern Conference

NBA SoutheastWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Atlanta Hawks3226.552 16-1116-15113.4111.2L18-0-2
Miami Heat3028.517 17-1313-15106.5107.4L36-0-4
Charlotte Hornets2829.491 14-1214-17110.0111.4L14-0-6
Washington Wizards2433.421 13-1611-17114.0118.1L17-0-3
Orlando Magic1840.310 10-208-20104.2112.0L31-0-9

Western Conference

NBA SouthwestWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Dallas Mavericks3026.536 13-1417-12111.3110.0L25-0-5
Memphis Grizzlies2927.518 13-1616-11113.8112.2L16-0-4
San Antonio Spurs2828.500 12-1816-10110.6111.1L24-0-6
New Orleans Pelicans2533.431 16-159-18114.7115.4L44-0-6
Houston Rockets1543.259 7-218-22107.9114.9L12-0-8

Last Injuries

Houston Rockets

  • Sterling Brown

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | out

    Brown is out of commission with left knee soreness and a facial laceration. He is without a definitive timetable for recovery.

  • John Wall

    Rest
    Out Sun | out

    Wall will not suit up for Sunday's battle with the Magic, as he will be given a day of rest.

  • Danuel House Jr.

    Ankle
    Late April | out

    House Jr. is sidelined with a right ankle sprain, and he is not expected to return to the court until the end of April.

  • P.J. Tucker

    Calf
    Prob Wed | probable

    Tucker is sidelined with a left calf strain, but it is projected that he will suit up versus the Timberwolves on Wednesday.

  • John Wall

    Rest
    Out Fri | out

    Wall will not take the court on Friday versus the Clippers, as he will be given a day of rest.

  • John Wall

    Knee
    Prob Wed | probable

    Wall has been held out of the last four contests dealing with a left knee effusion, but he is likely to be active versus the Mavericks on Wednesday.

Dallas Mavericks

  • James Johnson

    Groin
    Ques Thurs | questionable

    Johnson sat out the last game with a right adductor strain, and it is uncertain if he will take on the Magic on Thursday.

  • Tim Hardaway Jr.

    Illness
    Ques Wed | questionable

    Hardaway Jr. is ailing from an illness, and it is unknown if he will be available for Wednesday's contest versus the Pistons.

  • James Johnson

    Wrist
    Ques Wed | questionable

    Johnson was removed the last contest with right wrist soreness, and it remains to be seen if he will take the court versus the Knicks on Wednesday.

  • Maxi Kleber

    Leg
    Prob Mon | probable

    Kleber missed the last game due to a lower-leg injury, but it is likely that he will dress for Monday's showdown versus the 76ers.

  • Kristaps Porzingis

    Rest
    Out Mon | out

    Porzingis will not be active for Monday's clash with the 76ers as he will be given a day of rest.

  • Willie Cauley-Stein

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | out

    Cauley-Stein will miss an extended period as he is entered in the NBA's health and safety protocols.

  • Freddie Gillespie

    Acquired
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Gillespie missed the last game while going through the NBA's health and safety protocols, and it is uncertain if he will suit up for Sunday's clash against the Knicks.

  • Trey Burke

    Calf
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Burke has missed the last three games with a left calf strain, and it is unclear if he will take the court Sunday versus the Spurs.