It’s halftime between the Mavericks and Rockets, but you wouldn’t know that looking at the score. through two quarters, the two teams have combined for a staggering 160 points. Dallas leads Houston 85-75. Three separate Mavericks have 19 or more points… and none of them are MVP candidate Luka Doncic. James Harden dropped 23 points on perfect shooting in the first quarter, but scored only three points in the second once the Mavericks started to trap him. This has been a wild game befitting its enormous stakes.
The Rockets, through their innovative small-ball lineups, and the Mavericks, with their historically dominant offense, represent major upset threats to the best teams in the Western Conference. However, there is no more precarious place to start on the bracket than No. 7, setting up a likely first-round series against the Clippers and their endless supply of wing defenders. A Houston win all but assures they’ll avoid that fate. A Dallas win mucks up the entire middle of the Western Conference.
The game is currently live on ESPN. Follow along here for live news, updates and analysis of one of the most important games in the bubble so far.