Harden, Howard lead Rockets to 130-128 win, 3-0 lead on Mavs

Mavericks
Mavericks
DALLAS (AP) -- James Harden scored a playoff career-high 42 points, Dwight Howard had his postseason best with 26 rebounds and the Houston Rockets beat the Dallas Mavericks 130-128 on Friday night for a 3-0 lead in their first-round series.
 
The MVP candidate played a dominating role after deferring to Howard and role players in the first two wins, putting the Rockets on the verge of their first playoff series victory since Howard joined Harden two years ago.
 
The high-scoring game was Dallas' first without effectively banished point guard Rajon Rondo, and Monta Ellis had a playoff career-high 34 points to match Dirk Nowitzki.
 
But Ellis missed a potential tying jumper just before the buzzer, leaving Dallas to face a fourth straight year without winning a postseason series since taking the franchise's first championship.

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