The Dallas Mavericks caused a spectacle in their first game against the Houston Rockets after the NBA restart.
At the end of an offensive firework, the Mavs lost 149: 153 after extra time. Halftime score of 85-75 for Dallas meant the most halftime points in an NBA party this season.
Dallas had long looked like the sure winner in the NBA bubble at Disney World, where the teams stayed until the end of the season. The Mavs went into the last third with an 11-point lead (119: 108). Even seven minutes before the end, the lead was still eleven points (131: 120).
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The Rockets around once again outstanding James Harden caught up point by point and were only three points ahead 5.2 seconds before the end. After a foul, Harden rejected the second free throw, Robert Covington got the rebound and equalized. A subsequent trip of three by Luka Doncic with the final siren did not land in the basket. (Table of the NBA)
Harden outstanding – Doncic with triple-double
“An incredible play. I didn’t really want to discard the throw, I wanted to sink it. It was the perfect miss,” Harden joked.
The Mavs had a better start in overtime, but ultimately had to give up four points behind.
Harden was once again the best thrower of the game with 49 points, for Dallas especially Kristaps Porzingis triumphed with 39 points and 16 rebounds. Doncic even delivered a triple double with 28 points, 13 rebounds and ten assists, Trey Burke towered over the bank with 31 points. Maxi Kleber also came from the bank and collected seven points and rebounds each.
Rockets star Russell Westbrook, who arrived in Florida late after a positive corona test, scored a strong 31 points. (NBA schedule)
Doncic relies on the learning effect
“Our self-confidence on the defensive has increased, especially in the last quarter,” said Harden. “We kept moving and fighting.”
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle was disappointed: “This is a hard defeat. It is as hard as possible and it is simply because of the basic explanations.” Doncic pointed out the learning effect: “We are a young team. We still have a lot to learn. We will of course get better and I know that, so I’m not worried.”
The Mavs (40:28) remain seventh in the West on the playoff course despite the defeat, Houston (41:24) is fifth. Dallas faces the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, the Rockets play against the Milwaukee Bucks.