The Rockets and Mavs capped off the second night of the NBA restart in Orlando with what might’ve been a thrilling opening-round playoff preview, in a game filled with plenty of scoring and very little defense as Houston eventually outlasted Dallas in overtime, 153-149.
James Harden dropped 49 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists to lead the Rockets, while Russell Westbrook added 30 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists, despite shooting 13-of-30 from the field and committing six turnovers. Harden now has two consecutive seasons of 20 or more 40-point games.
Kristaps Porzingis led the Mavs with 39 points and 16 rebounds on the night, and Luka Doncic logged his 15th triple-double of the season with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists, but a late-game collapse recalled a troubling trend for Dallas.
The Mavs have had a historically good offense this season, yet have been one of the worst teams in the league in crunch time, as they let the Rockets climb back into it late in the fourth quarter and force overtime after a wild finish in regulation.
With 3.9 seconds remaining, Harden got fouled on the inbounds pass while trying to get into his shooting motion, but the officials ruled it on the floor, giving him two free-throws with the Rockets down three. He made the first, then missed the second, but Robert Covington was able to sneak into the lane and get the tip-in to tie it up at 139-139 to send it to overtime.
LOL MAVS pic.twitter.com/67xml8kFYI
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) August 1, 2020
Covington also hit a key three-pointer late in the extra period to give Houston a four-point advantage, despite going 0-of-9 from downtown up to that point, and the Rockets were able to hold on from there to get the win.
There wasn’t much defense to speak of in this contest, particularly in the first half as the two teams combined for 160 points before halftime, the highest point total of the season so far for a half. The Mavs’ 85 points also tied a franchise record set back in 1983 against the Nuggets.
Both teams got some key contributions from their role players. Houston had seven players in double-digit scoring on the night, including Danuel House Jr., who knocked down 6-of-12 from three to finish with 20 points, and Ben McLemore, who scored 13 points on perfect 4-of-4 shooting from downtown.
Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. both came up big for Dallas on the other end. Burke dropped 31 points off the bench on 8-of-10 from behind the arc, while Hardaway went 5-of-8 from three for 24 points of his own.
We even got a sighting from Dirk.
Virtual Dirk pulled up to the Rockets-Mavs game 😂 pic.twitter.com/eA1GpoOEsX
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 1, 2020
With the win, the Rockets moved from sixth to fifth in the West standings.