DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks opened the home portion of their season with a thud.
The Mavs, who also lost their season opener in Indiana on Wednesday, are now 0-2 on the season.
Trevor Ariza poured in 27 points to lead the Houston Rockets to a 106-98 victory over the Mavs on Friday night at American Airlines Center. The Mavs, who also lost their season opener in Indiana on Wednesday, are now 0-2 on the season.
Dallas played without power forward Dirk Nowitzki, who sat out the game with a stomach illness. Nowitzki’s status for Sunday’s game in Houston against these same Rockets is unknown.
The Mavs sure could have used their 13-time All-Star on Friday. Without Nowitzki, the Mavs found themselves in too many situations where they had to rush shots because the 24-seocnd shot clock was about to expire.
Houston outscored the Mavs 25-17 in the third quarter and carried a 77-67 lead into the fourth quarter. The Mavs never made a serious threat in the final quarter.
Harrison Barnes paced the Mavs with a career-high 31 points, Deron Williams scored 14, Wesley Matthews 13 and J. J. Barea 10.
Besides Ariza, James Harden had 16 points, seven rebounds and eight assists for the Rockets, and Eric Gordon added 18 points and six assists.
Behind a 12-0 run, the Mavs tied the Rockets at 24-all at the end of the first quarter, thanks to 12 points by Barnes. But the Rockets forged ahead 52-50 at intermission and the Mavs were playing catchup the rest of the game.