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Rockets routed by depleted Mavericks for sixth consecutive home loss

Despite missing their two All-Star players, the Dallas Mavericks embarrassed the Houston Rockets on their home floor. 

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON — For someone to gain an accurate description of the Houston Rockets’ struggles against the Dallas Mavericks, one must rewind to the 5:38 mark of the first quarter.

K.J. Martin, arguably the most athletic player on the roster, missed a near uncontested dunk attempt. Martin failed dunk was the ninth missed field goal out of their first 12 shots, as the Rockets trailed the Mavericks 21-10 at the start of the game. Unfortunately, Martin’s missed dunk was just one of numerous blunders amidst a 130-106 loss to the Mavericks on Friday.

With the loss, the Rockets fell to 11-28 on the season while dropping their sixth consecutive game inside the Toyota Center. The Mavericks were able to come away with their fifth straight victory, despite not having coach Jason Kidd (health & safety protocols), Kristaps Porzingis (health & safety protocols) and Luka Doncic (ankle).

In the absences of Doncic and Porzingis, the Mavericks were missing a combined average of 22.8 points against the Rockets. Although Dallas would have preferred to compete with their two All-Star players on the floor, the contributions of Reggie Bullock and Tim Hardaway Jr. made the absences of Doncic and Porzingis endurable.

Hardaway, who averaged 21.0 points against the Rockets last season, scored a team-best 19 points for the Mavericks, while Bullock set the tone early for Dallas by scoring 12 of his 15 points during the first period.

Christian Wood led the way for the Rockets with a team-high 20 points in the loss. It was a quiet 20-point night for Wood, as it appeared that his scoring did not have any impact on the game.

In fact, despite having five players who scored in double figures, the lone Rocket who left an impact on the game was Jae’Sean Tate. The second-year forward from Ohio State recorded 15 points and eight rebounds in the loss, and it seemed that Tate was the only player who remembered how to play defense against a depleted Mavericks team.

The Rockets played arguably their worst defensive game of the 2021-22 season, by allowing the Mavericks to shoot 54.4 percent from the field and 44.7 percent from deep. Both Bullock and Hardaway attributed to Dallas’ sizzling 3-point shooting by drilling five triples each.

After helping the Rockets end their eight-game losing streak on Wednesday, Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green struggled against the Mavericks. Each player connected on four out of their eight shot attempts, as Green scored a dozen while Porter scored 11 points in the loss.

After the loss, the Rockets will try to bounce-back on Sunday, when Houston faces off against the 19-20 Minnesota Timberwolves. Tip-off is at 6 P.M. CT inside the Toyota Center.