Rockets win 120-104

3-pointers from Rockets versus Mavericks

Houston Rockets/Facebook

The Houston Rockets hosted the Dallas Mavericks Monday night looking to notch their first win of the season series after dropping the previous two. The Rockets leaned on the 3-point shot as they have all season to run away with lead early and held on throughout to secure the blowout victory. Houston remains first in the Southwest Division and fifth in the Western Conference.

Supporting cast

Monday night proved that with their continuously improving health and depth the Rockets are growing tougher and tougher to beat as the season wears on. While favoring a tweaked shoulder from Saturday's game, James Harden remained effective by distributing around the arc. His teammates made the most of their opportunities, nailing 16 3-pointers en route to the 16-point victory. Houston finished with big nights from Gerald Green (19 points), Eric Gordon (18 points), Chris Paul (17 points), and Kenneth Faried (17 points).

Streak continued

While the game itself lacked drama, the subplot of Harden's consecutive 30+ point game streak was anything but. It was apparent throughout the night that The Beard was far less interested in the streak as he was the win and it showed through his 7 assists. It wasn't until late in the game when the game was all but decided that Harden chose to keep the streak alive. With less than a minute left, he buried a three to continue the streak, pulling him within one game of second place for the longest such streak in NBA history.

CP3 passes the Glove

Chris Paul turned in a promising 17 point, 11 assist night along with a 5-10 performance from beyond the arc. In doing so, he passed Gary Payton for eighth all time on the NBA assist leaderboard. Paul has looked much more like last season's version of himself in the past two games, which will prove pivotal to any run the Rockets may go on after the all-star break.

Rockets Player of the Game

James Harden: 31 points, 7 assists, 8 rebounds, 5 steals

Mavericks Player of the Game

Luka Doncic: 21 points, 8 assists, 10 rebounds

Last Shot

As the dust settles and the buyout market picture sharpens into focus, one name to keep an eye on is Markieff Morris. Having been bought out by the Pelicans after being traded to from the Wizards, the 6' 10" power forward is expected to choose a new team sometime this week. The Rockets, Lakers, and Raptors have each expressed interest. Morris is a versatile big that brings both range and defense that could help spell starting forward PJ Tucker, as well as space the floor for easier driving attempts for Harden, Paul, and Gordon.

Up next:

The Rockets travel to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves on Wednesday at 7 p.m. central.

The winner of the contest will be announced at a Rockets game in early April. Courtesy of Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau

This article originally appeared on InnovationMap and was written by Natalie Harms.

Houston startups have a chance at $10,000 thanks to the Houston Rockets and BBVA Compass' LaunchPad Contest. The application process begins on February 19 and concludes on March 5.

In its third installment, the contest is doing things a little differently this year. Previously, small businesses had to respond to questions about their organization and what they would do with the prize money. This year, with a special focus on startups, applicants are also being asked about using new technology to increase productivity.

"BBVA Compass is in a unique position and we want to leverage that to help elevate entrepreneurship through digital capabilities," says BBVA Compass Houston CEO Mark Montgomery in a release. "We are a leader in the financial industry's digital transformation, and have won multiple awards because of our innovative products and services in that realm. We want to create ample opportunities for a rising business through that industry-leading expertise. The Rockets are excellent teammates, and we are excited to unveil this new version of our collaborative contest with them."

Following the application process, BBVA and the Rockets will select four finalists before opening the contest up to fans to pick their favorite. The winner will then be announced at a game in early April. The winning company will receive, in addition to the $10,000, consultations with both BBVA and the Rockets executives.

"We are excited to partner with BBVA again for this annual contest," says Rockets Chief Revenue Officer Gretchen Sheirr in the release. "They have been best in class in their industry with their digital strategy, so it's fantastic that they will be providing an opportunity for other businesses to thrive in this space. We look forward to reviewing our fans' contest submissions and seeing the great work being done by startup businesses in our great city."

Continue reading on InnovationMap to learn about last year's Launchpad winner.

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