By Holly MacKenzie
There was only one game on the NBA schedule last night and that was the match up between the Dallas Mavericks (2-1) and the Houston Rockets (3-0). While the Mavs suffered a loss to the Hawks in their second game this season, the Rockets have been hot straight out of the gate. McGrady seems more focused than years past and it will be exciting to watch and see if he will keep it up. The game last night did not disappoint, as it was back and forth until the fourth when the Mavs pulled together and pulled it out. In the match up between Tracy McGrady and last years MVP, Dirk Nowitzki, it was McGrady who continued his scoring binge and came out looking superior for most of the game. In fact, the person who overshadowed McGrady was not Nowitzki, but 6th man for the Mavs, Jason Terry. Yes, this season is only in the earliest of stages, but if McGrady can keep this level of play up, this may be the year he breaks out of the first round. While it is definitely too soon to expect anything, this year’s Houston team is exciting to watch.
Unfortunately, I was not able to catch the game. The power on my street was off for oh, just over 5 hours last night and man did that suck. I ended up stealing wireless from someone, but because the game was being shown on NBATV, I couldn’t even watch it with the online league pass option. I was stuck clicking refresh on ESPN’s live stats.
Dallas 107 Houston 98
In a game that was close from opening tip until the final minutes, Jason Terry led the way as the Dallas Mavericks went on a late run to hand Houston it’s first loss of the season, 107-98. At the half, Houston was up by one, 51-50. While Tracy McGrady was on his way to another big night and Yao Ming was right behind him, Dirk Nowitzki was struggling on the offensive end for Dallas. It was Terry, the first man off of the bench whom the Rockets didn’t have an answer for as time and time again he came down and stuck it to the Rockets. He finished with 31 to pace the Mavs in a close contest until the final minutes. At the end of the third and beginning of the fourth, Terry scored 10 straight for Dallas to bring the Mavs from five down to up one. Once things started to get down to the wire, Terry led a 14-4 Dallas run, where Nowitzki finally managed to get some shots to fall. After going 5-17 from the floor for the game with just under five minutes remaining, Nowitzki knocked down 2 huge shots on the Dallas run to take control of the game and pull away for good. While Nowitzki and the rest of the Mavs flourished when it mattered the Rockets faltered and were outscored 30-23 in the final quarter. McGrady finished with a game-high 35 points but it took him 31 shots to do so as he shot only 12-31 from the floor. Josh Howard had 21 points for the Mavericks who also got 19 from Nowitzki. Desagana Diop had a double-double with 10 points and 13 boards for Dallas who finished the game outrebounding Houston 43-38. Yao Ming had a double-double of his own for Houston scoring 21 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Outside of McGrady and Yao, Houston did not have any other scorers in double figures. Jerry Stackhouse made it 5 players in double-figures for Dallas, as he contributed 16 points. The Mavs were without point guard Devin Harris who missed his second straight game with a bruised thigh.