The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Houston Rockets Monday night, winning 111-106. The Rockets controlled much of the game, but the Mavericks were able to grind out just enough stops and hit enough shots in the fourth quarter to win. This was the fourth time and final time the Mavericks play the Rockets this year, finishing the year 3-1 against Houston.
Luka Doncic led the Mavericks in scoring with 39 points, as well as 12 rebounds and eight assists. Christian Wood and Tim Hardaway Jr. chipped in 21 points each. Kevin Porter Jr. led the Rockets with 25 points and six assists, while Jalen Green scored 20.
Here are three numbers from the game:
14: The difference between the two teams’ 3-point attempts
The Mavericks trailed most of the night despite not making many mistakes. They only had eight turnovers, compared to 10 for the Rockets. They actually had more second-chance points than Houston, leading them 17-9. They led in fast break points, too, 7-5, which is rare. They did get beat on points in the paint, 50-40, but not dominated.
They did miss shots, though. Their 3-point shooting was especially rough, going 30 percent from deep. For a time, the Rockets led because they were actually hitting their shots. But the sheer volume of the Mavericks’ attempts eventually caught up to Houston. The Rockets only shot one percent better from deep than the Mavericks. But Dallas took 14 more threes, and made four more than the Rockets. That ended up winning the game for them.
8: The number of rebounds by Reggie Bullock
Bullock has been struggling offensively all year, and tonight wasn’t much different. He only shot 2-of-6 from behind the arc, and scored only eight points. But Bullock played great defense, and obviously crashed the boards. His eight rebounds were only second to Doncic’s 12 in the game.
5: The number of blocks by Christian Wood
Wood was active defensively the whole game. Everyone else that played in this game had five blocks combined. Wood blocked five on his own. You can tell whenever Wood plays the Rockets it’s personal, and whenever he’s energetic on both ends of the court, the Mavericks have a higher ceiling. Wood has 13 blocks in his last four games.
22: The number of free throws attempted by Doncic
Doncic made life miserable on the Rockets and the refs alike tonight. He got to the line 22 times tonight, and made 18 of them. Too many times in the past, Doncic has settled for long threes, even when they weren’t falling. There have been a few short stretches like that during this season, but overall, it feels like Doncic has learned to get into the paint and manufacture points when his shot isn’t falling.
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