Houston (CBS Houston) – The Rockets took care of business in game two of their series with the Mavs and will now head up I-45 for a weekend in the Big D playing games three and four Friday and Sunday night.
Nothing Accomplished Yet?
Despite the Houston Rockets winning the first two games of their opening round playoff series with the Dallas Mavericks the team isn’t feeling like they have done anything special.
“We did what we were supposed to do,” said James Harden. “Win, take care of home court advantage.”
Trevor Ariza was similarly unimpressed with the 2-0 start.
“We didn’t do anything yet,” he said. “The playoffs start Friday for us for real.”
Harden seemingly agreed with Brewer about when things really get started for the team.
“Now the series really starts,” he said. “We will go on the road in a tough environment. We’ve got to do a good job of taking care of business.
Feel the Rhythm, Feel the Rhyme, Get on Up…It’s Rockets Time
The Rockets played a tight game for three-plus quarters with the Dallas Mavericks until they found exactly what they were looking for in the early part of the fourth.
“It’s all about rhythm,” said James Harden who watched for most of the fourth quarter as the team took the lead and never gave it back. “That last unit in the fourth quarter did an amazing job. (Corey) Brew(er), Trevor (Ariza), Pablo (Prigioni), Dwight (Howard) and Josh (Smith) won us the game.”
Those players came up big on a night when Harden, despite scoring 24 points, wasn’t feeling like he was in DeBarge’s biggest hit.
“Personally, for myself, I didn’t think I had any rhythm the entire game but that’s what teammates are for,” he said. “Those guys did a tremendous job of stepping up and making big plays.”
Bench Brings It
The Rockets relied heavily on their bench for their game two victory. Starters Terrence Jones and Trevor Ariza managed just nine combined points as they both had an off night shooting. Jason Terry chipped in eight points but their output was supplemented by plenty of good bench scoring.
Josh Smith score 15 points in addition to his eight rebounds and nine assists. Corey Brewer matched Smith’s scoring with 15 points of his own while Pablo Prigioni contributed seven points. Clint Capela again played before Joey Dorsey adding five points.
Just because he struggled don’t expect Terrence Jones to continue to be absent in important minutes. Kevin McHale said after the game Jones is “going to be a big part of us in this series.”
Lob City in Clutch City
Back to the Drawing Board
J.J. Barea said after the game the Mavericks will need to hit the whiteboard to figure out how to stop Rockets.
“We tried something these two games that didn’t work out,” he said. “That’s something we are going to have to work on in the next two days.”
Tyson Chandler said the Rockets big fourth quarter run was because their defensive scheme was being exploited.
He said Houston “figured our defense out” and then “started picking their spots” on who was going to finish at the rim.
Rick Carlisle said his team would need better body positioning which was something Tyson Chandler echoed saying they needed to put more bodies on their opponents.
Rondo’s Absence and What It Might Mean
The Dallas Mavericks saw sparse play from their star point guard Rajon Rondo in their game two loss to the Rockets.
Rondo’s playing time was initially cut short due to foul trouble according to head coach Rick Carlisle. It wasn’t what kept him on the bench though.
“I liked the way the other guys were playing. So, I elected not to put him back in. Coach’s decision.”
Rondo didn’t speak to the media after the game.
Carlisle continued citing the team’s need to focus and pull together.
“It’s not about one guy,” he said. “It’s about the team and the organization and the franchise.”
J.J. Barea said he was “not really” worried about the team potentially coming apart.
“Our veteran guys, me, Dirk, and Tyson, we’re gonna keep this team together.”
Who Doesn’t Love NBA Jam?
Oh and J.J. Watt Was There Too
He got down to celebrate the win.
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