|Date of game: 1/28/2015
Recap: Houston vs. Dallas
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - James Harden walked up to the foul line with a slight limp in the closing moments, but still sunk both game-clinching free throws.
Josh Smith had 18 points and six rebounds, Harden added 17 points, eight assists and four steals and the Houston Rockets defeated the Dallas Mavericks 99-94 on Wednesday night.
Harden was slow to get up after banging knees with Monta Ellis near the left elbow during the middle to late stages of the fourth quarter following a drive. Harden, though, gutted it out, but was seen grimacing near the Rockets bench after knocking down his foul shots.
Donatas Motiejunas posted 16 points and five rebounds for Houston, which has won three straight games. Six Rockets reached double figures in scoring.
"When we've got so many guys contributing it's kind of hard to beat us," Harden said.
Center Dwight Howard missed his second straight game due to a sprained right ankle.
Ellis finished with 33 points and five assists and Chandler Parsons netted 21 points for the Mavericks, who have dropped four consecutive contests.
Dallas turned the ball over 23 times.
"We had chances, but that ultimately killed us," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said of the turnovers.
After Smith's 3-pointer staked the Rockets to a 95-87 advantage with 2:56 remaining, a 7-2 Dallas spurt helped it get within three.
Parsons hit a triple and Ellis sunk two foul shots before Smith drove in for a layup. Dirk Nowitzki's layup capped the flurry and got the Mavs within 97-94 with 43.5 seconds left.
Harden airballed a left wing jumper and then committed a flagrant foul on Tyson Chandler at the other end, but Chandler missed both free throws. Corey Brewer then tipped the ensuing inbounds pass off of Devin Harris and Harden put in a pair to seal the outcome.
Earlier, the Mavs netted the first seven points as Ellis sandwiched a pair of baskets around a Nowitzki trey. Houston closed the frame on a 10-2 run to get within 25-24 following a quarter of play.
Smith knocked down a late triple in the second and Houston held a 54-53 edge at the break. It was up 81-78 after three.Game Notes
The Rockets have won four of their last five home games against Dallas ... The
Mavericks haven't lost four in a row since Jan. 2-9, 2013 ... Terrence Jones,
who had 10 points and five rebounds for Houston, hadn't played since Nov. 3
due to nerve inflammation in his left leg.