Rockets beat Mavs on Harden’s late free throw
HOUSTON — James Harden made a free throw with 0.1 seconds left, lifting the Houston Rockets over the Dallas Mavericks 93-92 in their home opener Sunday night.
Harden had 28 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. He was fouled by Wesley Matthews on a driving layup at the buzzer with the game tied, then made the second of two free-throw attempts.
After trailing by 10 entering the fourth quarter, Dallas tied it at 92 with a 3-pointer by Matthews with 4.1 seconds remaining.
Matthews led Dallas with 25 points and J.J. Barea scored 18 points off the bench. In falling to the Rockets for the second time in three days, the Mavericks fell to 0-3 for the first time since 2011-12, the lockout-shortened season following their title.
Dallas was without Dirk Nowitzki (illness, sore Achilles tendon) for a second straight game. Nowitzki participated in pregame warmups but was a late scratch.
Houston got strong performances from offseason additions Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson and Nene in their home debuts. Gordon had 14 points, Anderson had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Nene had 11 points.
The Rockets capped the first and second quarters with points at the buzzer. To end the first, Corey Brewer hit a 3-pointer from 30 feet out. Harden ended the second quarter on a driving layup to put the Rockets up 63-53.
Late in the third quarter, Houston’s Trevor Ariza and Dallas’ Salah Mejri received double-technical fouls after both players fell to the floor and were tangled for a few seconds. Ariza clinched his fists before he was restrained by players.
Mavericks: Without Nowitzki, Dallas was frequently undersized but managed to hold their own in the rebounding category, with Houston edging the Mavericks 46-42. … Starting in Nowitzki’s place, Seth Curry played 23 minutes and scored no points on 0-for-3 shooting. … Deron Williams had 12 points but struggled with his shot in the second half after colliding with Brewer on a hard foul in the third quarter that left Williams limping and holding his thigh.
Rockets: Houston was plagued by 17 turnovers compared to just nine turnovers from Dallas. … Sam Dekker scored nine points on 3-of-3 shooting from 3-point range. … Houston outscored Dallas 15-4 in fast-break points, fueled heavily by timely steals and forced turnovers in transition. … Clint Capela had 10 rebounds.
Mavericks: Visit Utah on Wednesday night.
Rockets: Visit Cleveland on Tuesday for the first leg of a season-long five-game road trip.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.