Rockets vs. Mavericks Game 2 Preview & Prediction

The Houston Rockets controlled Game 1 from the opening tip, using a barrage of long-range shots and a top notch performance from James Harden to beat the Dallas Mavericks 118-108. Will they keep the momentum going in Game 2, or will the Mavs even the series?

Projected Starting Lineups

(2) Houston Rockets (56-26)

G Jason Terry – 7.0 ppg, 1.9 apg

G James Harden – 27.4 ppg, 7.0 apg, 5.7 rpg

F Trevor Ariza – 12.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg

F Terrance Jones – 11.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg

C Dwight Howard – 15.8 ppg, 10.5 rpg

(7) Dallas Mavericks (50-32)

G Rajon Rondo –9.3 ppg, 6.5 apg

G Monta Ellis – 18.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg

F Chandler Parsons – 15.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg

F Dirk Nowitzki – 17.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg

C Tyson Chandler – 10.3 ppg, 11.5 rpg

What to watch for:

What adjustments will Dallas make on defense?

Houston's 118 points are the most any team has scored in the playoffs so far this year, and Dallas can't win if they're giving up that many points. The Rockets did most of their damage in transition and from beyond the arc in Game 1, so look for Dallas to slow the pace down to limit the amount of transition opportunities.

Can Harden continue to get to the foul line?

Harden turned himself into an MVP frontrunner by getting to the foul line more than anyone else in the NBA, and while the game is called differently and is much more physical in the playoffs, he still managed to shoot 17 free throws in Game 1. He only shot 4/11 from the field, but finished with 24 points because he got to the foul line so much. If Harden can get to the foul line as much tonight, the Rockets will win.

Prediction: Mavericks win 106-104

Houston won Game 1 by making 10 shots from three-point land, getting the foul line at a high rate, and getting 23 points off of 17 Dallas turnovers, and chances are they won't be able to be as successful in all of those aspects again. This will be a long series, and the back-and-forth will start tonight.

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