rain
Friday December 14th, 2018 1:03PM

Gordon, Paul lead Harden-less Rockets past Mavericks 105-82

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

DALLAS (AP) — When the Houston Rockets' MVP candidate needs a night off, they can simply elevate the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year to the starting lineup.

Or turn the ball over to an eight-time all-NBA point guard.

That's why they have the best record in the league — as Houston showed without James Harden on Sunday night. Eric Gordon scored 26 points and Chris Paul had 24 points and 12 assists as the Rockets beat the Dallas Mavericks 105-82.

Harden sat because of a sore left knee, but the team had plenty of 3-point shooting even without him.

"What's that? Thirty points a night?" Paul said of Harden's absence. "But it just gave other guys an opportunity to step up."

Houston, which had its 17-game win streak snapped Friday in Toronto, broke the game open in the third quarter after leading by only one at the break. The Rockets hit their first six 3s of the period amid a 22-10 run. They finished 17 for 45 from beyond the arc, with Gordon going 6 for 11.

Paul either scored or assisted on the first 20 points of the quarter and finished the quarter with 12 points and five assists as Houston outscored Dallas 32-16.

"He orchestrated a great game, but he has done that for about 15 years," coach Mike D'Antoni said.

Houston clinched a playoff spot with the win. When asked about that achievement after the game, Gordon said: "I'd much rather have that No. 1 seed."

On that front, the Rockets moved 1 ½ games ahead of Golden State for the best record in the NBA after the Warriors lost to Minnesota earlier Sunday. Houston also holds the tiebreaker on Golden State should the teams finish with identical records.

Houston also swept the four-game season series from the Mavericks for the second year in a row.

Dwight Powell led the Mavericks with 20 points, one short of his career high, on 9-of-11 shooting. Harrison Barnes added 14. Dallas shot just 35 percent from the field, a figure that looks even worse in the context of Powell's night.

A TON OF BRICKS

Dallas finished 33 for 94 from the field. Barnes shot 4 of 16, Dennis Smith was 2 of 12, and J.J. Barea was 2 of 9, though he had 13 assists.

From 3-point range, the Mavericks made a season-low five shots on 31 attempts, and even Dallas' normally reliable free-throw shooting was off. The team averages 77 percent from the line but hit just 11 of 18 (61 percent) Sunday.

"They are a great team, even without Harden," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "They did what they had to do, and we just couldn't make enough shots."

MATTHEWS SITS OUT

Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews sat out Sunday because of a right leg injury suffered in the first half of the Mavericks win over Memphis on Saturday night. He said he played through it and was ready to go Sunday, but was advised to sit out. Carlisle said Matthews wouldn't travel, at least initially, on the team's upcoming four-game road trip.

"I'm going to get an MRI tomorrow, and we'll know more then," Matthews said. "It took three heads to pull me off the court tonight."

TIP-INS

Rockets: D'Antoni said Harden should be available Monday against San Antonio. The Rockets are 5-3 without him in the lineup. ... Houston used its 13th different starting lineup of the year. ... D'Antoni was on hand in nearby Frisco, Texas, to watch his alma mater, Marshall, coached by his brother Dan, win the Conference USA Tournament final Saturday. The Thundering Herd beat Western Kentucky 67-66 for their first NCAA Tournament berth since 1987.

Mavericks: Barea assisted on nine of the Mavericks' first 10 field goals. ... Dallas signed F Jameel Warney to a 10-day contract. Warney has averaged 20 points in 40 games for the Mavericks' G-League affiliate, the Texas Legends. Warney entered in the fourth quarter and scored five points. ... In addition to Matthews, Dorian Finney-Smith and Salah Mejri sat out for the Mavericks. Finney-Smith had played Saturday after missing 51 with a quadriceps injury.

UP NEXT

Rockets: Host the Spurs on Monday for the second half of a back-to-back.

Mavericks: Start a four-game road trip Tuesday at the Knicks. Dallas plays 10 of its final 15 on the road.

___

More NBA basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, College Sports, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball, AP Sports - NBA
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
NCAA Tournament dishes Virginia a tough road as top team
No. 1 overall seed Virginia faces a tough road in the South Region with Arizona, Kentucky, Cincinnati and Tennessee in the bracket
9:41PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Gordon, Paul lead Harden-less Rockets past Mavericks 105-82
Eric Gordon scored 26 points and Chris Paul had 24 points and 12 assists as the Houston Rockets played without James Harden but beat the Dallas Mavericks 105-82
9:38PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Xavier gets No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament West Region
Xavier has followed one of the best regular seasons in program history with its first No. 1 NCAA Tournament seeding
9:36PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Xavier is No. 1 seed 1st time in school history
TBS announcer Ernie Johnson announced Xavier would get a No. 1 seed, but the Musketeers weren't sure they'd heard him right.
9:08PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Greek game abandoned after 'armed' owner protests decision
A disputed goal at the end of a Greek league match between leader AEK and title rival PAOK in the northern city of Thessaloniki led to a pitch invasion by one of the team owners, who appeared to be carrying a gun
8:38PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Dangerous dogs: Providence, South Dakota State
West Region has dangerous double-digit seeds in Providence, San Diego State and South Dakota State
8:38PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Overall No. 1 Virginia aims for Final Four run through South
Top overall NCAA seed Virginia headlines the South Region bracket in the pursuit for an elusive Final Four
7:13PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: UT's Barnes heads to Dallas for NCAAs
Rick Barnes is heading back to where he spent a good chunk of his career, leading Tennessee into an NCAA Tournament game in Dallas
7:02PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Davidson steals Notre Dame's NCAA bid
Davidson's run to the Atlantic 10 Tournament title apparently stole a bid that otherwise would have gone to Notre Dame
6:56PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
No. 1 Virginia wins ACC title, 71-63 over No. 12 NCarolina
Kyle Guy, Devon Hall and No. 1 Virginia completed one of the most successful seasons in the storied history of ACC basketball, beating No. 12 North Carolina 71-63 in the tournament championship game to finish 20-1 against league competition
4:24AM ( 17 hours ago )
BUBBLE WATCH: Davidson takes best shot; 'Bama, USC wait
The Atlantic-10 Conference Tournament final on Sunday between Davidson and top-seeded Rhode Island may be must-see viewing at Arizona State, Louisville, Syracuse and any other school on precarious NCAA tourney footing
3:48AM ( 18 hours ago )
No. 15 Arizona beats USC 75-61 to defend Pac-12 title.
Deandre Ayton had 32 points and 18 rebounds in one of the most dominating performances in Pac-12 Tournament history, leading No. 15 Arizona to its second straight title with a 75-61 victory over Southern California
1:37AM ( 19 hours ago )
College Sports
UConn fires coach Kevin Ollie with school under NCAA inquiry
UConn coach Kevin Ollie fired with team under NCAA inquiry and 4 years after Huskies won title
4:00PM ( 1 day ago )
North Carolina holds off Duke to advance to ACC title game
Luke Maye scored 17 points, including North Carolina's last field with 5:33 remaining, and the No. 12 Tar Heels held off a late rally by No. 5 Duke to advance to the ACC Tournament championship game with a 74-69 victory.
3:40AM ( 1 day ago )
BUBBLE WATCH: Alabama takes another step toward the NCAAs
Alabama's Collin Sexton: "Don't count us out."
3:13AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
Westbrook's triple-double leads Thunder past Spurs 104-94
Westbrook's triple-double leads Thunder past Spurs 104-94
12:39AM ( 20 hours ago )
Grizzlies drop 17th straight as Mavericks roll to 114-80 win
Harrison Barnes scored 25 points and the Dallas Mavericks beat Memphis 114-80 on Saturday night, extending the Grizzlies' losing streak to 17 games
11:55PM ( 21 hours ago )
Wade hurt, but Heat roll past Wizards 129-102
Dwyane Wade left with an injury, but Miami got balanced scoring and rolled past Washington 129-102
11:03PM ( 21 hours ago )
AP Sports - NBA
NCAA Tournament dishes Virginia a tough road as top team
No. 1 overall seed Virginia faces a tough road in the South Region with Arizona, Kentucky, Cincinnati and Tennessee in the bracket
9:41PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Xavier gets No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament West Region
Xavier has followed one of the best regular seasons in program history with its first No. 1 NCAA Tournament seeding
9:36PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Kansas is No. 1 in Midwest Region featuring all-time greats
Midwest Region features some of college basketball's all-time greats in Kansas, Duke, Michigan State
9:35PM ( 26 minutes ago )
The Latest: Madness truly begins Thursday with Oklahoma-URI
The first four officially starts the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio, but for most people Thursday is when the madness truly begins _ and the brackets must be submitted to count in the office pool
9:29PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Trump backs off call for raising minimum age to buy gun
Trump's plan to prevent school shootings focuses on gun training for teachers, mental health, backs off raising minimum purchase age for assault weapons
9:20PM ( 41 minutes ago )