The Dallas Mavericks were blasted by the Houston Rockets 118-108 in Game 1 of the I-45 rivalry playoff series.
The first quarter started out very rough for the Mavericks as they allowed Houston to go on a 9-0 run after taking the lead 2-0. Immediately the Mavs began to get sloppy by making bad passes, playing poorly on defense, not making their baskets, and constantly committing turnovers. Rockets center, Dwight Howard was dominating Dallas on defense. After five minutes, the Mavs found themselves down 14-4, and one minute later, they found themselves down 19-6. At the end of the first quarter, the Mavs found themselves down 32-19 and didn’t seem to have any momentum going.
In the second quarter, Dallas’ defense began to improve, and they were making baskets, but we’re struggling with three-point attempts as they had yet to make one after six attempts. After six minutes in the second, the Mavs found themselves down 40-38, and were looking a lot better than they did in the first quarter. Then finally, Rajon Rondo made the first three-point shot of the night for the Mavs, but Houston was able to answer back. Dallas did take the lead a few times during the second quarter, but couldn’t stop the powerful Houston offense led by James Harden from responding. The second quarter ended with Dallas trailing Houston 59-55.
In the first two minutes of the second half, Dallas found themselves down 65-55, but Dirk Nowitzki made a three-point shot, and added a free-point shot, however, Houston kept getting ahead with the help of Jason Terry and James Harden, making the score 73-62. Dallas was in trouble once again, and it got worse for them as they were down 80-66 halfway through the third. But Dallas still wouldn’t go away as Monta Ellis nailed a three-point shot at the buzzer. However, Houston still had the lead 84-77.
The fourth quarter was a nightmare for Dallas as they just couldn’t stop Houston’s dominant offense. Houston would stay a few steps ahead of Dallas by making three-point shots to keep Dallas behind them. James Harden led the Houston offense with 24 points.
Chandler Parsons returned after missing the final six games of the regular season with a knee injury, and his return to Houston was greeted with boos from the fans. Parsons had a rough night finishing with just ten points, two assists and six rebounds. Parsons left the game during the second quarter, but did return to the game. Parsons spent the previous three seasons with the Houston Rockets, and signed with Dallas this past offseason.
Rockets shooting guard, Jason Terry had a great game against his former team. Terry racked up 16 points with 4 three-point shots. Terry won an NBA championship in 2011 as a member of the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavs offense was lead by Dirk Nowitzki who had 24 points tonight. Monta Ellis had a good night as well, finishing with 16 points. Rajon Rondo may have had his best game so far as a Maverick, finishing with 15 points. Devin Harris also returned to the line-up, but ended up leaving the game after re-aggravating his toe injury. The biggest problems for the Mavs were turnovers, fouls, and missing too many shots.
Game 2 will be on Tuesday night in Houston at 8:30. Dallas will look to bounce back to tie the series.