Terrence Jones contributed late down the stretch, scoring 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter. The Rockets will advance to face the winner of the San Antonio Spurs-Los Angeles Clippers series, which the Spurs lead 3-2. The Rockets were able to overcome an embarrassing 121-109 loss in game 4.
Dwight Howard missed half of the season with injuries, but he contributed 18 points and 19 rebounds on Tuesday. Josh Smith remained red hot by scoring 20 points in the win. Both Smith and Harden scored 16 points in the first half. Houston also excelled defensively, holding Dallas to just 5-of-26 shooting from beyond the arc.
Despite Dallas's struggled from downtown, they still got 25 points from Monta Ellis and 22 to go along with 14 rebounds from Dirk Nowitzki. Dallas was not able to complete a rally that saw them get within 3 after a 7-0 run with 5 minutes remaining.
The unlikely heroes from game 4 struggled in game 5 for the Mavs. Al-Farouq Aminu had just 14 points before fouling out, while J.J. Barea had 6 points and 3 turnovers. Tyson Chandler also struggled down low with just 6 rebounds on the night.
While Dallas fell to 10-10 all-time in the first round, the Rockets will be celebrating their first series win in 6 years while awaiting their second round opponent.