National Basketball Association
Dallas 107, Houston 104
When: 6:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 8, 2018
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
#8 Marc Davis, #44 Brett Nansel, #50 Gediminas Petraitis
Rookie forward Luka Doncic authored a late-game comeback with an individual scoring surge and the Dallas Mavericks extended their home-court winning streak to nine games with a 107-104 victory over the Houston Rockets on Saturday.
Doncic finished with 21 points and seven rebounds, scoring 11 consecutive points down the stretch after the Rockets secured their largest lead of the game at 102-94.
Doncic converted all three of his 3-point attempts plus a driving layup during the outburst, his final trey providing the Mavericks the lead for good at 105-102 with 57.5 seconds remaining. Rookie point guard Jalen Brunson, making his second career start in place of injured guard Dennis Smith Jr. (wrist), added a late layup while producing 14 points, three assists and three steals.
Doncic had missed his first four 3-point attempts prior to his fourth-quarter surge, and finished the game 7-for-17 from the field.
Six Mavericks scored in double figures, with center DeAndre Jordan pairing 12 points with 20 rebounds while Harrison Barnes and Dorian Finney-Smith scored 14 points apiece for Dallas. Wesley Matthews finished with 21 to share team-high scoring honors with Doncic, drilling 4 of 7 from deep.
James Harden paced the Rockets, who have lost seven of their last nine games, with 35 points and eight assists but missed two 3s as Doncic caught fire. Chris Paul chipped in 23 points and eight assists for the Rockets but misfired on a pair of free throws that would have stalled the Mavericks' late rally.
The Mavericks' early ability to attack off dribble penetration paid dividends on two fronts. Dallas tallied half of its 32 first-quarter points in the paint while also earning seven trips to the free throw line for an additional six points. Additionally, Harden picked up his third foul at the 4:17 mark of the opening frame and exited the game. The Rockets did not collapse without him.
Despite their interior prowess, the Mavericks managed only a two-point lead entering the second period. Harden returned to action in the second, avoided additional foul trouble, and posted 16 points plus six assists prior to intermission.
Paul chipped in 13 first-half points as Houston offset a first-half double-double from Jordan (12 points, 10 rebounds) by drilling 9 of 25 from 3-point range. That the Rockets managed a 57-56 lead at the half while converting only two free throws underscored their perimeter shooting and persistence against the balanced Mavericks offense.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
James Harden 35
Luka Doncic 21
James Harden 8
J.J. Barea 4
Clint Capela 13
DeAndre Jordan 20
James Harden 7
||Free Throws Made
Wesley Matthews 5
James Ennis III 1
Jalen Brunson 3
James Ennis III 2
Harrison Barnes 1
Team Stats Summary
Dallas will play their next game at home against Orlando. The Mavericks have a W/L % of .583 after a win and .500 after a loss.
Houston will play their next game at home against Portland. The Rockets have a W/L % of .583 after a win and .308 after a loss.