Longtime buddies and former AAU teammates Josh Smith and Dwight Howard repeatedly punished the rim Tuesday night, as they helped the Houston Rockets take a 2-0 series lead against the reeling Dallas Mavericks.
Smith finished with 15 points in the resounding 111-99 victory, while grabbing eight rebounds and tying his Playoff career-high of nine assists.
Howard was no slouch himself, pumping in a game-high 28 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
Per the Houston Chronicle:
Smith exploded in the second half when the Rockets needed a lift. He had 13 points, nine assists and six rebounds in the final two quarters of the Rockets’ 111-99 victory at Toyota Center that gave them a 2-0 lead in the first-round series with the Mavericks. […] In the first half, Smith was plagued by fouls. He picked up three early ones, prompting him to rip his signature headband off his head and throw it on the ground.
“He did a wonderful job of getting into spots, getting the ball and just making plays,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. “He was playing great basketball.”
When Smith chose to sign with the Rockets after being waived by Detroit in December, Howard was a big reason. The two were immediately comfortable on the court together, and since Howard’s return from sitting for two months with a knee injury, it’s obvious. […] “We fell right back into it,” Smith said. “It’s like riding a bike.”