DALLAS – The Dallas Mavericks will open Game 1 of their best-of-seven first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center in Houston on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
Game 2 will also be played in Houston – Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. – before the series shifts to Dallas for Games 3 and 4.
The Mavs will host Game 3 on Apr. 24 at 6 p.m. and Game 4 on Apr. 26 at 8:30 p.m.
The remainder of the series is on an if necessary basis.
Game 5 will be Aor. 28 in Houston, game 6 on Apr. 30 in Dallas and Game 7 back in Houston on May 2.
The Mavs were just 1-3 against the Rockets, although Dallas was on the second end of a back-to-back in all four games. Houston also was on the last end of a back-to-back when they beat the Mavs in Dallas, 108-101 on Apr. 2.
They are going to be a tough opponent,’’ center Tyson Chandler said. "(James) Harden, Dwight Howard, their aggression and the pressure that Harden puts on you defensively.
"Harden may be the (National Basketball Association’s) MVP, if not probably will be the runner-up. We have a tough task ahead of us.’’
The Mavs went into the final game of the season with then possibility of playing Houston, San Antonio or the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. The possibilities kept changing by the hour.
"We have been watching this thing very closely,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. "We have a lot of information on a lot of people, but it’d going to be Houston and they are a great team that has had a great year.’’
The Rockets and Mavs put on a terrific playoff series for the fans in 2005, which was the last time they’ve met in the playoffs. In that series the Mavs lost the first two games at home, won the next two in Houston, and wound up winning Game 7 in Dallas by a whopping 116-76.
"They have two of the greatest players in the game with Howard and Harden, they have a terrific supporting cast and they are well-coached. We are going to have to play our butts off to beat them.’’
Here are the upcoming games for the Mavericks-Rockets playoff series.
Game 1 – Sat April 18 Dallas at Houston 8:30PM 9:30PM ESPN
Game 2 – Tue April 21 Dallas at Houston 8:30PM 9:30PM TNT
Game 3 – Fri April 24 Houston at Dallas 6:00PM 7:00PM ESPN
Game 4 – Sun April 26 Houston at Dallas 8:30PM 9:30PM TNT
Game 5 * Tue April 28 Dallas at Houston TBD TBD TBD
Game 6 * Thu April 30 Houston at Dallas TBD TBD TBD
Game 7 * Sat May 2 Dallas at Houston TBD TBD TNT