March 27, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) grabs the ball in the post against the Houston Rockets at American Airlines Center. The Mavs beat the Rockets 90-81. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
The Mavericks got down early but held together long enough to give their guys enough time to erase an early 16-point Rockets lead and eventually wear down Houston to win 91-80 Tuesday night.
After the Houston Rockets got off to a fast start, the Dallas Mavericks made some energy substitutions to stop the Rockets' roll and stymied them throughout the second and third quarter to give Dallas enough time to grab the lead and win 90-81 Tuesday night.
Rodrigue Beaubois came into the game as Houston was stretching their early lead to 16 and provided a spark for Dallas, getting inside and scoring nine points and cutting that lead down to four in about eight minutes.
Dirk Nowitzki provided a boost in the second quarter as well, scoring 11 of his team-high 21 points in the second quarter, depending largely on 7-8 shooting from the free throw line, ultimately seeing the Rockets lead down to three going into halftime.
In the third, it was Jason Terry's turn to provide the boost, scoring seven points in a 16-2 run late in the quarter to finally grab the lead from Houston. Also, Brandon Wright made all five of his second-half shots (11 points in all for the half) to provide support for Terry in swinging the momentum over to the Mavs.
Houston entered the game with the fourth largest discrepancy between home and away record, winning 19-7 at home and 8-17 on the road. The road was once again unkind as their second and third quarters were an uncomfortable 14-41 (34 percent) for 31 points between the two quarters.
The big lead early on for Houston was led by Luis Scola, who scored 10 of his game-high 22 points in the quarter. Houston was without both backcourt starters, Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin and just learned that Lowry could miss the rest of the season.
In a statistical anomaly, the two teams combined for only seven offensive rebounds, despite both teams shooting under 50 percent, including a 41-percent effort from Houston, who is 13th in offensive rebounding percentage.
At Mavs Moneyball, andytobo raves about the sneaky value that Brandon Wright provides:
That being said, if Haywood's injury has been good for anything it's the emergence of Brandan Wright who continues to amaze. He didn't have 7 blocks this game --- matter of fact he didn't have any -- but he was 6-7 for 13, he grabbed 7 boards, and he only committed 2 fouls in 30 minutes. He is far from a terrific rebounder or defender. But the Mavs did outrebound the Rockets tonight, and he was a big reason why. If Hay comes back and keeps performing well, the Mavs might have two fine centers after all.
For more about the Rockets, pump fake and drive over to The Dream Shake.
For all of Tuesday's NBA box scores, check out SI.com's NBA scoreboard.