HOUSTON (Sporting Alert) — MVP candidate James Harden scored 28 points and Josh Smith added 20 off the bench and the Houston Rockets beat the Mavericks 103-94 on Tuesday night in Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.
Houston, after losing Game 4 and missed out on the sweep, won the series 4-1 after the latest result.
Harden, who shot 9-of-19 from the field and connected on four of his three-point attempts, also dished out eight assists for the Rockets, who secured their first playoff series win since 2009.
“It means a lot (to win the series),” Harden said. “We have a lot of guys banged up.
“Guys have been in and out of the lineup but guys competed and battled through it, and that’s what makes this more special.”
Smith went 7-of-12 from the floor and grabbed eight rebounds, with Dwight Howard adding 18 points, 19 rebounds, four steals and four blocks and Terrence Jones scoring 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter for Houston in the victory.
Monta Ellis paced the Mavericks with 25 points, seven assists and four steals, but committed six turnovers in the defeat.
“Our fans and our organization are really proud of how we battled, and I certainly am,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said.
“It’s always disappointing when it’s over but we did some good things this year, and we’re proud of our guys.”
Dirk Nowitzki was just 8-of-23 from the field and 0-of-6 from three-point range, but finished with 22 points and 14 boards for Dallas, which shot 35-of-92 for 38.0 percent from the floor and just 5-of-26 from long-range on the night.
Houston gave up 27 points off 21 turnovers, but outscored the Mavs 52-36 in the paint.
The injured hit Mavericks played without Chandler Parsons, who was out with a right knee problem. The forward has been sidelined since playing close to 40-minutes in Game 1, while Richard Jefferson and Raymond Felton saw no game time on Tuesday night.
Houston Rockets now await the winner of the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs series.