National Basketball Association
Preview
Houston at Dallas
When: 9:00 PM ET, Sunday, April 26, 2015
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

The Houston Rockets are bullying their way to the Western Conference semifinals, at least according to the Dallas Mavericks. The Rockets have been the more physical team in the first three games will try to wrap up a four-game sweep when they visit the Mavericks for Game 4 on Sunday.

Houston and Dallas were each whistled for 28 personal fouls in Game 3, but Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle felt there could have been more on the visitors. “Look, referees miss calls, but there's just a lot of physical stuff going on out there that just doesn't look kosher to me,” Carlisle told reporters. “They're a more physical team, but this series has got to be played within the rules.” Carlisle called out Rockets center Dwight Howard, who grabbed a postseason career-high 26 rebounds, in particular after the contest. “It's a long series, and my job is to be dominant in the paint and just do my best,” Howard told reporters in response. “I don't think about it when I'm out there. I just go out there and play.”

TV:
9 p.m. ET, TNT, ROOT (Houston), KTXA (Dallas)

ABOUT THE ROCKETS: Howard was not the only player to go off for Houston in Game 3, and James Harden poured in a career postseason-high 42 points in the win. “James played great,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale told reporters. “He was 15-for-24 from the field, 5-for-7 from the three, had 42 points and nine assists. There is really not much else I can say, I have seen it a lot this year. The guy played fantastic. It was a big game, we needed him to play well and he did, he stepped up.” Harden was held to an average of 24 points on 9-of-28 shooting in the first two games of the series.

ABOUT THE MAVERICKS: The loss and the postgame talk about officiating took some of the spotlight off Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki, who did his best to keep his team in the game with 34 points and eight rebounds. "Hey, it's the great Nowitzki, man," Carlisle told reporters. "He's unbelievable, just unbelievable -- unbelievable heart, unbelievable everything. He kept us in it.” Monta Ellis added a series-best 34 points and the Mavericks shot 52.3 percent from the field in the losing effort.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Mavericks PG Raymond Felton got the Game 3 start in place of Rajon Rondo (back) and finished scoreless in 13 minutes.

2. Houston F Josh Smith is averaging 14.7 points and has increased his scoring in each of the first three games.

3. Dallas G Devin Harris (toe) was limited to 10 minutes in the first two games but played 21 minutes in Game 3 and contributed 10 points.

PREDICTION: Rockets 122, Mavericks 115
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Houston 59-26 W6 32-11 26-15 5-0 54-26 11-8 36-19
Dallas 50-35 L3 27-15 23-20 3-4 47-31 7-12 29-26
Last Meeting
Houston Dallas
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
4/24/15 HOU 130 DAL 128 130 46 51.6 128 43 52.3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Houston J. Harden 42 62.5 7
Dallas M. Ellis 34 60.0 1
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Houston D. Howard 26 11 15
Dallas T. Chandler 8 6 2
Assists Player  
Houston J. Harden 9
Dallas J. Barea 9
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Houston J. Harden 2413 44.0 783
Dallas M. Ellis 1638 44.4 252
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Houston T. Ariza 506 89 417
Dallas T. Chandler 935 332 603
Assists Player  
Houston J. Harden 610
Dallas M. Ellis 363
Quickchart Matchup
Houston Off vs  Dallas Defense
104.5 Points For
102.9 Points Against
44.5 FG%
45.1 FG%
43.8 Reb
46.2 Reb
Dallas Off vs  Houston Defense
105.4 Points For
100.9 Points Against
46.2 FG%
44.3 FG%
46.2 Reb
43.9 Reb