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Harden: Mavericks were ‘disrespectful’ to Rockets

Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks

Photo Credit: LM Otero / AP Photo

Tuesday night saw a Texas NBA rivalry get a little out of hand. The Houston Rockets ended up beating the Dallas Mavericks 123-107, but the Mavs were, according to Houston’s James Harden, “disrespectful.”

“I don’t know what they were on tonight,” he said. “That other team was tripping tonight. They were disrespectful, were unprofessional players and coaches. I don’t know what was their problem, but I think that got us going. They wanted to throw a little cheap shot and just woke us up a little bit, and it was over from there.”

It all started when Andrew Bogut’s shoulder ran into Harden’s face, knocking him to the floor. A foul was called. Then, Justin Anderson and Nene got into an arm wrestling match. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle exchanged words with Trevor Ariza; Carlisle was given a technical foul.

A little later, Salah Mejri made a derogatory comment about Ariza’s family. The two had words, and Ariza was ejected from the game. Dallas’ Dwight Powell knocked Ryan Anderson in the back of the head, to which Anderson said he felt his neck pop.

The nastiness continued even after the game was over. Patrick Beverly, who didn’t play last night, started shouting at Mavs coach Carlisle. “Don’t be mad at us, coach! Way to be an icon, coach! Have a nice season, coach!”

While that was going on, Ariza was waiting for Mejri outside the Mavericks’ locker room. Luckily, his path was blocked by three Dallas police officers, two Rockets security guards, and numerous teammates. The confrontation didn’t happen, but Ariza left the building in a huff.

It was a nasty night. The Rockets, however, put that anger into their game and used it to rout the Mavs. Harden especially seemed to take that early hit personally (which makes sense, since it was a hit to his face); he played the rest of the game angry. He had a point to make, finishing with 34 points and 11 assists.

What’s next?

The Rockets host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday evening at 7 p.m. The Mavericks visit the Los Angeles Lakers tomorrow (Thursday) night for a late game at 9:30 p.m.

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