for this game

Rockets, Mavericks tip it up in Big D

Feb 20, 2015 - 3:35 PM ( - The Houston Rockets picked up some reinforcements for the playoff push, starting Friday night at American Airlines Center against the rival Dallas Mavericks.

The Rockets acquired rookie K.J. McDaniels from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for guard Isaiah Canaan and a second-round pick. Houston also received point guard Pablo Prigioni from the New York Knicks for Alexey Shved and two second-rounders.

"I'm glad it's over," head coach Kevin McHale said of the deadline. "I thought Isaiah was a good player for us. Prigioni is a veteran guy. He's played a lot of big games over in Europe. Alexey was a guy that really wasn't in our rotation either, but I really liked him."

The Rockets lost two of three before the break, but play five straight in Houston following Friday's battle with the Mavericks. The Rockets have allowed 100-plus points in four straight as they are trying to endure without center Dwight Howard.

The former Defensive Player of the Year will be sidelined a few more weeks with a knee issue. Terrence Jones is listed as probable with flu-like symptoms.

James Harden has kept the Rockets in great position. He is in the thick of the MVP conversation while keeping Houston in a tie for third place in the Western Conference.

The Mavs already returned from the break and the return was unspectacular. Dallas was squashed by the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday night, 104-89, at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Dallas opened the game 3-for-19 from the floor and didn't make a 2-point field goal until Richard Jefferson's reverse layup at 3:19. OKC led by as many as 17, and Dallas cut the gap to 10 to start the fourth quarter. The margin never returned to single digits.

"Bottom line is, we have to be better," said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle.

Rajon Rondo returned Thursday night after a six-game absence with facial fractures. He scored five points and handed out six assists.

Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 14 points, followed by 13 from Devin Harris. Charlie Villanueva chipped in 11 off the bench and Tyson Chandler added 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Amare Stoudemire, who was signed during the All-Star break after being waived by the New York Knicks, didn't play on Thursday as he is nursing an ankle injury.

The Rockets have taken both encounters this season and three in a row in the series. The two teams will meet again April 2 in Dallas, where the Mavs are 7-1 in the last eight of this matchup.