NO SWEEP

Rockets fire blanks, get beat on boards in 121-109 Game 4 loss

The Rockets came out on fire in the first quarter behind a dunking Dwight Howard, taking a 34-25 edge into the second quarter. From there, they fell apart. Houston couldn't do anything right in quarters two and three as the Mavs ran out to a lead as big as 24 points, holding on to a 121-109 win. The Rockets come home with a 3-1 series lead ready to host Game 5 on Tuesday night. It really started when Howard couldn't buy a free throw (3-13), but that was hardly the main culprit -- the team got beat on the boards (52-38) and misfired from distance, missing 20 of their first 22 three-pointers (finishing 7-31). The Mavs made a couple of adjustments as well, starting J.J. Barea (17 points, 13 assists) and putting Al-Farouq Aminu on James Harden, who had a relatively quiet 24 points. It will be up to McHale to find an answer to slow a scrub like Barea, which hardly bodes well for when the Rockets actually have to face a quality point guard.

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