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3 things we learned from the Houston Rockets dismantling of Mavericks, 123-107

NBA: Houston Rockets at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

On the second night of a back-to-back, the Mavs hosted Houston and were rudely handled by a Rockets team also playing for the second time in as many nights. A late flurry made the score seem slightly more respectable than this game really was.

THREES, THREES, AND THEN MORE THREES

Not a terribly big surprise to see the longball, as the two teams combined for 34 threes, 17 for Houston and 15 for Dallas. The Rockets happened to also make their two point shots, to the tune of 52%. James Harden was dominant, with 34 points and 11 assists in 30 minutes. Houston led from the mid-second quarter on by double-digits. Wes Matthews and Seth Curry also shot well for Dallas, with three triples apiece, but it wasn’t enough.

BOGUT MAKES HIS RETURN, AND PIERRE MAKES HIS DEBUT

Andrew Bogut made his return and appeared to ask for a sub two minutes in. He ended up playing a total of 11 minutes, as per the minutes restriction strategy. Dirk also ended his night early after 15 minutes. Bogut was held scoreless and Dirk tallied 7 points on 2-8 shooting.

With J.J. Barea still out and the team struggling, ex-Baylor Bear Pierre Jackson made his debut, and collected his first seven points in 11 minutes. Rick Carlisle has said Barea will not play the rest of the week, so Jackson’s chance to turn some heads will continue.

HOUSTON SWEEPS DALLAS

The Rockets have swept the season series against the Mavs. As much as the minutes restrictions and back-to-back may have played a role Tuesday night’s loss, it’s pretty clear Houston is a bad matchup for Dallas, and frankly, most teams. Give them credit; they took what looked from the outside like a toxic situation last season, and have remade their club into what looks right now like a tough out in the playoffs.

Also notable was that things got a little testy for a bit. Several technical fouls were assessed, and Trevor Ariza was ejected after exchanging some heated words with the Mavericks’ bench between quarters. Despite many new faces, these are still two division rivals with little love lost for each other.

Dallas drops to 9-23. They’ll take on the Lakers in L.A. Thursday for the first night of (another) back-to-back, culminating in a trip to the Bay Area to face the Warriors. Gulp.