Mavericks employ 'Hack-a-Dwight' in loss to Rockets

Bob Levey

The Mavericks have been among the chief proponents of the 'Hack-a-Dwight' strategy in past years, and that didn't stop in their first matchup against the Rockets.

Houston Rockets fans got their first taste of the "Hack-a-Dwight" strategy up close Friday night in the second half against the Dallas Mavericks.

The Mavs sent Dwight Howard to the line four times during a two-minute stretch in the third quarter, fouling him in the backcourt before the Rockets could set up their offense. Rick Carlisle instituted the strategy after Howard missed two free throws after a legitimate Samuel Dalembert foul.

Howard went 3-8 at the line after the four intentional fouls and the Rockets' lead remained stagnant at 12 points. Carlisle quickly ditched the strategy, but not before a sold-out Toyota Center crowd showered the Mavericks with boos. It was the first time the Rockets crowd witnessed it against Howard in red.

There are only a few teams in the league who employ the strategy, but that number may increase if Dwight continues to shoot poorly — he was 5-12 Friday night — and play well. Howard had 13 points and 16 rebounds against Dallas.

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