With time winding down in the first half in Dallas on Friday night, Devin Harris took the ball the length of the court, absorbed the contact from Patrick Beverly, threw up a prayer and got the shot to go, plus the foul. Harris led all scorers with 13 points at the half but would finish with just 15 total in just under 20 minutes of action.
The Rockets would go on to win this Texas-style shootout – which featured 20 lead changes and eight ties – by a narrow margin of 100-96 over the Mavs. James Harden had several clutch plays down the stretch to seal the victory for Houston, the most crucial of which was this fall-away jumper over Wesley Matthews that touched every part of the rim before going in and giving the Rockets a four-point lead with seven seconds remaining.
Harden flirted with a triple-double as he put up 25 points, eight rebounds and nine assists on the night, while Trevor Ariza and Terrance Jones added 18 and 17 points apiece for the Rockets, the latter of whom was a game-high plus-23 for the contest.
Deron Williams led the way for Dallas with 22 points on 50 percent shooting from the field, but was responsible for eight of the Mavericks 18 total turnovers. Dirk Nowitzki chipped in 16 points, 10 rebounds and four assists but was 0-of-3 from downtown, including a pair of key misses late in the fourth quarter with the game in reach.