Rockets, Mavs tangle in Big D
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets are one of the highest scoring teams in the NBA, but haven't scored 100 or more points in three straight games.
The Rockets, who are scoring 104.8 points per game, came close to their average in a win the last time out and will wrap up a Texas tour Wednesday against their Southwest-rival Dallas Mavericks in Big D.
Houston edged the division-rival San Antonio Spurs, 97-90, at home Tuesday night to stop a two-game slide and push its January record to 9-4. Dwight Howard posted his sixth straight double-double with 23 points and 16 rebounds, and has 31 double-doubles on the season. The last time a Rockets player reached 40 double-double in a season was Charles Barkley (42) in 1997-98.
"We didn't give up. We kept fighting, we hit the offensive glass," Howard said.
The Rockets had 19 offensive rebounds and received 21 points from Terrence Jones. Jeremy Lin had 18 points and Patrick Beverly netted 11, as the Rockets took the season series from San Antonio for the first time since 1996-97. The Rockets are 3-0 against the Spurs and the two teams will close the series April 14 in Houston.
Rockets leading scorer James Harden was sidelined with a thumb injury and is questionable for Wednesday. Harden is averaging a team-best 23.7 points per game and 5.5 assists per game.
After the Rockets, who are 11-10 on the road, visit Dallas, they will return to the Toyota Center for two games versus Cleveland and Phoenix.
Dallas is well rested and last played on Sunday in a 116-106 triumph over the Detroit Pistons in the opener of a four-game homestand. The Mavericks had lost two in a row and three of four games, and Dirk Nowitzki led five players in double figures with 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting.
Nowitzki also grabbed nine boards to go with four assists, while Jose Calderon and Devin Harris scored 17 and 14 points, respectively, for the Mavs, who made 58.1 percent of their shots and opened a 94-81 lead early in the fourth quarter thanks to a 10-0 run. Dallas' bench had a 46-22 advantage.
The Mavs turned the ball over 17 times for 23 Pistons points, but were able to improve to 15-7 at American Airlines Center.
"Well every game is going to be tough in the NBA, but at the end of the day we executed a little bit better tonight. We made a few mistakes, but I think we really played a 48-minute game tonight even with those mistakes," Calderon said. "I think we did a pretty good in defense even with all of their offensive rebounds, but we were okay today."
Dallas, which is 14-4 when shooting 50 percent or better, has won four of its last five home games and will also welcome Sacramento and Cleveland to Big D.
The Mavericks are 2-1 against the Rockets in 2013-14 and have won 12 of 14 and 22 of the last 29 matchups between the Southwest foes. They have also won seven straight, nine of 10 and 14 of the previous 17 games against Houston at home.
01/29 10:01:23 ET