Veterans Eric Gordon and DeMarcus Cousins had massive games Saturday on the second night of a road back-to-back, leading the Rockets to a surprisingly easy 133-108 win (box score) at Dallas. The Mavericks were led by 26 points from superstar guard Luka Doncic.
One night after shooting just 2-of-16 from the field (12.5%) at Detroit, Cousins bounced back with 28 points (60% FG), 17 rebounds, and 5 assists in 30 minutes. Meanwhile, Gordon led all scorers in the game with 33 points, including a blistering 6-of-9 clip (66.7%) on 3-pointers.
The Rockets were playing their second road game in 24 hours and without three starters, with Victor Oladipo (injury management), Christian Wood (right ankle sprain). and Danuel House Jr. (self-isolation) all sidelined. In addition, veteran guard John Wall was limited to 21 minutes after missing Houston’s last five games with left knee soreness.
Nonetheless, the short-handed Rockets (6-9) still found a way to get a statement win versus the Southwest Division rival Mavericks (8-8). It’s the second win in a row for Houston after three straight losses.
DeMarcus Cousins tonight:
28 points (season high)‼️
+9 in 30 minutes played.
Vintage Boogie performance. pic.twitter.com/nTckFBny1b
— Jackson Gatlin (@JTGatlin) January 24, 2021
While Wall’s playing time was limited in an unexpectedly early return from injury, he had eight assists to just one turnover in those 21 minutes.
“He’s the engine to this team,” Cousins said of Wall’s return. “He gets everybody going. He makes the game easy. The pressure that he constantly puts on the defense is a tough thing to deal with.”
Houston also had a pair of significant bench contributions, with swingman David Nwaba scoring 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting (85.7%) and rookie guard Mason Jones adding 16 points on 6-of-8 from the field (75.0%).
Here’s a sampling of Saturday’s best highlights, along with postgame reaction from the victorious locker room. The Rockets will return to action Tuesday with a home game against the Washington Wizards.
https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1353199804634038272 https://twitter.com/clutchfans/status/1353199900482277376 https://twitter.com/AdamJWexler/status/1353200178640146433 https://twitter.com/clutchfans/status/1353200406491488256 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1353201659019726848 https://twitter.com/clutchfans/status/1353201467855953920 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1353202149459636229
https://embed.sendtonews.com/oembed/?SC=Xf7W6tBUMV-1122530-7498&format=json&offsetx=0&offsety=0&floatwidth=400&floatposition=bottom-right&float=on https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1353207975700213760 https://twitter.com/clutchfans/status/1353207958671413254 https://twitter.com/CotyDavis_24/status/1353208226049875970
https://embed.sendtonews.com/oembed/?SC=ot7NWTUW1W-1122559-7498&format=json&offsetx=0&offsety=0&floatwidth=400&floatposition=bottom-right&float=on https://twitter.com/KellyIkoNBA/status/1353211145222561792 https://twitter.com/MarkBermanFox26/status/1353211327846748162
https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1353214173648457730 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1353198049271676929 https://twitter.com/clutchfans/status/1353213127492579329 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1353213359819255814 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1353213722718834690 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1353214173648457730 https://twitter.com/HoustonRockets/status/1353174555200811010
Block by KJ Martin Jr. on Boban Marjanović