Rockets win 120-104

3-pointers from Rockets versus Mavericks

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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.

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Houston looked much more like themselves

Astros return to form in win over Angels at home

Cristian Javier was impressive Thursday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Hoping to avoid spiraling further out of control, the Astros turned the page from their disappointing road trip and the recent stretch of games. They hoped to start this new homestand on a good note, welcoming in the Angels for four games of this eight-game stint at Minute Maid Park.

Houston would get the much-needed win, with their offense coming alive early in the game to put up big innings, which they rode to the victory thanks in part to a great start by Cristian Javier.

Final Score: Astros 8, Angels 2

Astros' Record: 8-10, fifth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Alex Cobb (1-1)

Astros' offense starts clicking early

Houston would grab the early momentum, despite leaving the bases loaded in the first inning. They would get a leadoff double by Aledmys Diaz in the bottom of the second, followed by an RBI triple by Myles Straw to jump in front 1-0. They made it a three-run inning, with an RBI by Carlos Correa then a bases-loaded RBI-walk by Yuli Gurriel, though for consecutive innings would leave three runners stranded on base.

Correa drove in another in the bottom of the next inning, getting an RBI single to push the lead to four runs, then would come in on a two-run single by Alex Bregman, who made it 6-0. That set things up nicely for Cristian Javier, who was on the mound trying to take advantage of the opportunity for another start.

Javier has an electric start



Javier was electric over the first three innings, including getting eight of the first nine outs by strikeout while allowing only a walk and double during that span. He would have longer innings in the next two, but in both cases would keep the Angels off the board, finishing in line for the win. His final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 98 P.

Houston gets the much-needed win

Meanwhile, Houston's offense kept scoring. They pushed the lead two runs further over the fourth and fifth, getting a run in each with another RBI each for Straw and Bregman. With Javier's night done, Bryan Abreu was first out of the Astros bullpen, and despite allowing a controversial two-run home run to Albert Pujols, of all people, that looked to be a foul ball, got through the inning.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the seventh but would get just one out while hitting a batter and allowing a single before Dusty Baker brought in Brooks Raley to face the heavy left-handed part of the Angels lineup. Raley would get through it, sending things to the seventh-inning stretch with the six-run lead intact.

Raley would get another out before Joe Smith would finish that inning in the top of the eighth. Ryan Pressly, who has been starved for work lately with no save opportunities, would close things out in the ninth as Houston would start this series off with a win.

Up Next: Game two of this four-game set will be another 7:10 PM start on Friday night. Andrew Heaney (1-1, 5.65 ERA) will be on the mound for the Angels, while Zack Greinke (2-1, 2.81 ERA) will look to repeat the success of his last start; an eight-inning shutout performance for the Astros.

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