DALLAS MAVERICKS (51-35) at HOUSTON ROCKETS (59-27)


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DALLAS MAVERICKS (51-35) at HOUSTON ROCKETS (59-27)


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DALLAS MAVERICKS (51-35) at HOUSTON ROCKETS (59-27)

NBA Playoffs
Western Conference - First Round
Tip-off: Tuesday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: Houston -7.0, Total: 221.5




2017-04-29

The Mavericks look to extend this series with a win over the Rockets in Houston in Game 5 on Tuesday.


The Mavs were facing elimination on Sunday and came away with a 121-109 victory as 2.5-point home favorites. Dallas shot the ball extremely well, hitting 54.3percent of its shots and 35.7percent from the outside. In the series, Houston has now won-and-covered in three of the four games. The Rockets are 6-2 both SU and ATS when hosting the Mavericks over the past three seasons. They are also 9-7 both SU and ATS versus the Mavs overall in that time. Dallas is 19-9 ATS in road games after failing to cover four or five of its past six over the past two seasons. The Mavericks are, however, just 5-13 ATS after a combined score of 205 points or more in three straight games this season. Theyre also up against a Rockets team that is 11-1 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite this season. PG Rajon Rondo (Back) and SF Chandler Parsons (Knee) are both out for the playoffs for Dallas and PG Patrick Beverley (Wrist), PF Donatas Motiejunas (Back) and SF K.J. McDaniels (Elbow) are all out indefinitely for the Rockets.


The Mavs pulled out a gutsy win in Game 4 and will now look to force the Rockets to travel back to Dallas for Game 6 by winning on Tuesday. PF Dirk Nowitzki (21.0 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 3.0 APG in playoffs) had 16 points, eight boards, four assists and a block in Game 4. Nowitzki has been hitting timely shots and will need to continue to provide leadership and a sturdy scoring presence for this team. SG Monta Ellis (26.3 PPG, 4.8 APG, 3.3 RPG, 1.5 SPG in playoffs) is averaging 32.5 PPG, 6.0 APG and 2.0 SPG over the past two contests for Dallas. He is holding his own against James Harden and as long as he can do that, the Mavericks have a chance of winning come the end of the game. SF Al-Farouq Aminu (10.5 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.0 BPG, 1.3 SPG in playoffs) had 16 points, 12 rebounds and a block in 38 minutes of action in Game 4. He is playing very well as Chandler Parsons replacement and will need to continue to play well on both ends in his matchup with a very talented group of Rockets small forwards. PG J.J. Barea (13.3 PPG, 7.0 APG, 4.5 RPG in playoffs) has scored in double digits in four straight games. He had 17 points, 13 assists and a steal in 36 minutes on Sunday and is giving the Mavericks a huge edge at the point guard position.


The Rockets had a chance to close out the series in Dallas in Game 4, but they could not get stops when they needed to. Theyll now look to advance to the next round with a win in Houston in Game 5. SG James Harden (28.5 PPG, 7.8 APG, 4.3 RPG, 1.3 SPG in playoffs) has not skipped a beat in this postseason. Harden had 24 points, five rebounds and five assists in 36 minutes last game, but he has not played well defensively against Monta Ellis. Hell need to slow him down in Game 5 and also be more efficient as a shooter, as he was 1-for-7 from behind the arc last game. SF Josh Smith (16.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.0 BPG in playoffs) caught fire in Game 4, pouring in 23 points on 8-for-10 shooting from the field and 4-for-5 shooting from behind the arc. Smith played some solid defense as well and will need to bring some of that scoring on Tuesday. C Dwight Howard (16.3 PPG, 12.5 RPG, 2.8 BPG in playoffs) had 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 36 minutes on Sunday. He was, however, a liability at the end of the game because of his poor free-throw shooting. He was 3-for-13 from the line and the Mavericks exploited that with the Hack-a-Shaq.

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