Do you like offense? Then my friend, have I got a game for you. Through three quarters, the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets have combined for 227 points. It’s 119-108 with 12 minutes remaining, and the individual numbers are just as preposterous. Trey Burke, signed off the scrap heap last month, is now 7-for-7 on 3-pointers. The Mavericks have four 23-point scorers in three quarters. James Harden scored 23 points on perfect shooting in the first quarter. He’s at 32 points now. There have been 30 total 3-pointers so far. It has been one of the wildest games of the season, a title befitting such an important game. 

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. 


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DAL +1.5, o232.5


ESPN

Season Leaders

points

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J. Harden


34.4 PTS, 7.4 AST, 6.4 REB


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J. Harden


34.4 PTS, 7.4 AST, 6.4 REB


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L. Doncic


28.7 PTS, 8.7 AST, 9.3 REB


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L. Doncic


28.7 PTS, 8.7 AST, 9.3 REB


assists

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J. Harden


34.4 PTS, 7.4 AST, 6.4 REB


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J. Harden


34.4 PTS, 7.4 AST, 6.4 REB


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L. Doncic


28.7 PTS, 8.7 AST, 9.3 REB


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L. Doncic


28.7 PTS, 8.7 AST, 9.3 REB


rebounds

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C. Capela


13.9 PTS, 1.2 AST, 13.8 REB


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C. Capela


13.9 PTS, 1.2 AST, 13.8 REB


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K. Porzingis


19.2 PTS, 1.7 AST, 9.5 REB


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K. Porzingis


19.2 PTS, 1.7 AST, 9.5 REB


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Seth Curry hits one of two at the line. It’s 139-136. The Rockets called timeout with one last chance to tie the game.

A wild possession sends Covington to the line with only 6.3 seconds remaining.

Four-point lead for Dallas. Only 21 seconds on the clock. Dallas ball. Five seconds on the shot clock after Robert Covington knocks the ball out of bounds.

They’re trading 3’s now. Harden and Kleber both nail daggers.

Now James Harden goes to the line with the Rockets in the bonus. Given the offensive struggles of the last several minutes, making up a four-point deficit is going to be tough in just one minute and two seconds.

As amazing as it sounds after giving up 133 points, Houston’s defense really has been stellar over the past several minutes. If they could do this for a whole game, they’d go undefeated.

Huge potential swing: James Harden gets fouled on a jumper, but it’s called on the floor. That takes two points off of the board and removes a free-throw attempt. In such a close game, that’s massive.

Westbrook getting switched onto Porzingis is less than ideal.

We’ve actually seen some defense over the past few minutes. Houston could’ve used it earlier, but hey, better late than never.

The Mavericks have 43 rebounds and the Rockets have 26. That’s a problem.

Luka got a bit too ambitious there. On the run behind the back passes generally don’t end well.

Ben McLemore has fouled out with over 10 minutes remaining.

Trey Burke finally missed a 3-pointer. This has been your breaking news update.

119-108 after three quarters. THREE QUARTERS!!!

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