Published May 03, 2016
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets will try to take a 2-0 series lead over their Texas rivals, the Dallas Mavericks, Tuesday night at the Toyota Center.
The Rockets won Game 1, 118-108, in the Western Conference quarterfinals.
James Harden had 24 points and 11 assists to lead the Rockets. The MVP candidate, who became the first Rockets player to record at least 20 points and 10 assists in a playoff game since Tracy McGrady in 2007, carried Houston for long stretches this season, but it was a balanced effort on Saturday.
"James did a nice job of driving and he got to the line a bunch," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "James is a handful. He's a tough guy to handle."
Terrence Jones finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and six assists while Trevor Ariza totaled 12, 11 and six.
Dwight Howard added 11 points and five blocks while battling foul trouble, and Jason Terry made four 3-pointers en route to 16 points for the second-seeded Rockets.
"It's my time of year," said Terry.
Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points on an efficient 10-for-14 shooting and Tyson Chandler had 11 points and 18 rebounds in the loss.
Monta Ellis scored 16 points, followed by 15 from Rajon Rondo. J.J. Barea scored 12 off the bench, while Chandler Parsons, who missed the last six regular-season games with a knee injury, only managed 10 against his former team.
Amare Stoudemire also managed 10 points.
"We're going to have to do a better job of coming up with loose balls, those 50-50 balls," said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle. "That's huge in the playoffs."
Parsons and Devin Harris, who played less than 10 minutes Saturday as he battles a toe injury, did not practice Monday and are listed as questionable for Game 2.
Parsons, who spent the first three seasons of his career with Houston, briefly left the game late in the second quarter but returned.
Ellis beat the buzzer at the end of the third quarter with a 3-pointer and opened the fourth with a jumper, capping a 9-0 run that pulled the Mavericks within five, but they would get no closer.
Corey Brewer scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth, including three 3s in just over three minutes near the midpoint. The last one with 4:54 to play made it 103-93, and the Rockets made 17 free throws in the quarter to put the game away.
Game 3 will take place Friday in Dallas.