Mavs Power Points: Rockets 108, Dallas 101
Yes, the Dallas Mavericks lost to Houston on Thursday, 108-101. But that may be just what the doctor ordered as the teams jostle for playoff position. The Mavs are in a spot where it doesn't look like they will challenge the Spurs for the 6th seed and they have a comfortable lead on the 8th seeded Thunder. That means that most likely, the Mavs will enter the postseason as the 7th seed, so they will take on the 2nd seed. With Golden State locked at the top seed, the Rockets and Grizzlies are in a neck-and-neck battle for the second and third seed.
With this win, the Rockets have the slight edge. As for the 46-30 Mavs, they should want Houston rather than Memphis, even though nobody will quite say it. Not only has Houston lost Patrick Beverly for the season, and not only is Dwight Howard not fully healthy, but here is how the Mavs have fared against the two teams in their four-games series this season.
Rockets- Lost by 3, Lost by 5, Won by 11, Lost by 7.
Rockets won season series 3-1.
Grizzlies- Lost by 9, Won by 8, Lost by 19, Lost by 11.
Grizzlies won season series 3-1.
So adding it all up, the Mavs end the season series against the Rockets at a -4.
They end the season series against the Grizzlies at a -31.
And we haven't even gotten to the matchups, where the Grizzlies have a matchup-nightmare post game with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph along with Mike Conley running the show, with Tony Allen playing tough defense and Vince Carter among those providing the veteran presence.
The Rockets are talented as well with MVP-candidate Harden and Dwight Howard but as evidenced by the games this season, the Mavs matchup better with Houston.
“I think we’ve got a great chance against those guys,” Mavs big Amar’e Stoudemire said, before smartly adding, “And they may feel the same way.”
Indeed, ex-Mavs Corey Brewer, now of Houston, chimed in on the same subject. "We may see these guys in the playoffs," Brewer said. "So, you want to let `em know we're gonna be beatin' their butts."
The unfortunate injury bug continues to bite the Mavs, this time Chandler Parsons. Coming off of an extremely clutch performance the night before in the win at OKC (our All-Access to that game is here), Parsons left the game in the third with a sore right knee and did not return. The injury is apparently one that's been lingering for a time. X-rays are reportedly negative. The Mavs don't practice today, but CP will be re-evaluated by the staff today.
"He tried to give it a shot tonight," coach Rick Carlisle said of CP, who had 11 points, three rebounds and four assists. "He gave it a real shot, but he just wasn't moving right and he was having some discomfort, so we pulled him."
Al-Farouq Aminu had a solid game all-around but had some Sportcenter Top 10 moments mixed in, too. He had a couple of blocks on Dwight Howard, including a vicious one-handed rejection and also let the other Houston star, James Harden, feel his wrath by blocking a layup off the backboard. Aminu had seven points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
Let's have a look ...
Chandler Parsons played 26 minutes before leaving with a sore knee. Dirk tallied almost 32 minutes, Tyson played 30 minutes and Monta led the way playing 38 minutes. Point guard duties were evenly distributed as Rondo and Devin Harris each played 23 minutes and J.J. Barea played almost 17 minutes, though there were often two point guards on the floor together, especially after Parsons left the game.
Rebounds- The Rockets manned the lane and out-rebounded the Mavs 55-41.
Shooting percentage- Both teams had similar results from the field as the Rockets just edged the Mavs, shooting 44.2 percent from the field to the Mavs' 44 percent.
Scoring- Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 21 points. Harden -- labeled flatteringly by Rick Carlisle "a foul-creating machine'' -- scored 24 points.
All-around- Stoudemire had 11 points, five rebounds and two steals in 14 minutes.
Houston's Jason Terry broke a 95-all tie with a 3-pointer in the closing minutes. Monta Ellis, who had 19 points, had his chance to answer but missed a potential tying 3. That's how close the game was. That's how close the season series was. That's how close a Round-1 playoff matchup might be.
"I like our chances in that series,'' said Tyson Chandler of the idea of a Dallas-Houston meeting. "I feel like tonight was a very winnable game."
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