Harden leads Rockets past Mavericks
(The Sports Xchange) - Guard James Harden scored 25 points, including a step-back jumper with 7.4 seconds to go, to lead the Houston Rockets to a 100-96 win against the Dallas Mavericks.
Harden bounced back from a 3-for-12 shooting first-half with 11 points in the third quarter, plus two huge baskets and a terrific assist in crunch time.
He finished with nine assists and eight rebounds in a game that Houston played without center Dwight Howard.
"I'm just a playmaker, my man," Harden said of his final basket that sealed the victory.
"If I have the shot, shoot it. If I have the opportunity to pass it and make a good play, I will do that as well."
Dallas guard Deron Williams led the Mavs with 22 points and six assists while forward Dirk Nowitzki had 16 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, but he also headed to the locker room with a left ankle issue with 11:17 to go.
Nowitzki made it back to the bench with a little more than eight minutes left and the game tied 84-84.
He immediately put on his sweat pants and top, but did re-enter the game with 6:30 to go.
Nowitzki's go-ahead three-point attempt with 1:24 to go missed, but he then tied the game at 96-96 with a pair of free throws with 1:10 left. Continued...