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National Basketball Association
Houston 128, Dallas 121
When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, January 31, 2020
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Officials: #21 Dedric Taylor, #60 James Williams, #14 Ed Malloy
Attendance: 18055

James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for 67 points and the undersized Houston Rockets squared their season series against the visiting Dallas Mavericks with a 128-121 win Friday.

Harden posted 35 points, a season-high 16 rebounds, six assists and four steals. He drilled a pair of 3-pointers inside the final three minutes to stymie the Mavericks, who cut an 18-point deficit late in the third quarter to 107-104 when Delon Wright converted a wide-open layup with just under seven minutes remaining.

Dallas, playing without All-Star guard Luka Doncic (right ankle sprain), stayed in the fight until Harden closed out the victory with his precision shooting.

Westbrook added 32 points, six rebounds, nine assists and three steals. The Rockets nearly played Dallas to a draw on the glass despite featuring no one capable of keeping Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis (35 points, 12 rebounds) in check.

Curiously, the Mavericks rallied with Porzingis on the bench, as Seth Curry (16 points) and Wright played feature roles.

Tim Hardaway Jr. added 15 points for the Mavericks. Eric Gordon tallied 17 points for Houston.

With center Clint Capela sidelined by a heel contusion, the Rockets leaned fully into playing small. That strategy included starting undersized power forward P.J. Tucker at center and spacing the floor on offense.

But in order for that gambit to work, the Rockets had to thrive from the perimeter, and they did, connecting on 8 of 14 3-pointers in the opening period to get rolling.

Harden wasn't part of that early barrage, missing 6 of 7 shots in the first quarter. But Harden warmed up in the second, scoring 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including three treys.

Dallas had Porzingis to thank for keeping the game close. He had 17 points by the break and combined with Dorian Finney-Smith and J.J. Barea to grab five offensive rebounds in the second period after the Mavericks failed to snag one of their errant attempts in the first period.

Houston led by just five at the break despite shooting a robust 12 of 23 from deep. When the Rockets' shooting lagged early in the fourth, the Mavericks rallied.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Dallas   Houston
Kristaps Porzingis 35 Scoring James Harden 35
J.J. Barea 9 Assists Russell Westbrook 9
Kristaps Porzingis 12 Rebounds James Harden 16
Kristaps Porzingis 10 Free Throws Made James Harden 9
Kristaps Porzingis 2 Steals James Harden 4
Maxi Kleber 4 Blocks Danuel House Jr. 2
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Dallas 121 47.8 14-36 21-27 29 52 9 2 17
Houston 128 45.9 21-45 17-20 25 37 5 11 7
Upcoming Games
  • Houston will play their next game at home against New Orleans. The Rockets have a W/L % of .600 after a win and .667 after a loss.
  • Dallas will play their next game at home against Atlanta. The Mavericks have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .778 after a loss.