Rockets Miss Out on Playoff Chance in Dallas
Having needed a victory over the Dallas Mavericks to claim a place in the NBA playoff picture, the Houston Rockets were frustrated in their attempts, eventually going down 88-86 in what was a match lacking in quality. Before the game, just 3.5 games separated fifth and ninth place in the Western Conference. But the Rockets were unable to capitalize on their opportunity. They now stay in ninth position in the standings, a game behind the Utah Jazz with just four games to play.
With an opportunity to face the Golden State Warriors, who are currently the number one ranked team in the Western Conference, James Harden took it upon himself to take over the game in Dallas. The start of the fourth quarter saw Harden score all of his side's first 12 points, as he appeared to be on his way to leading the Rockets to a crucial victory. However, in the closing moments as Harden drove to the basket, Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki stripped him of the ball, forcing the Rockets superstar to foul. Betway.com included odds of 1.08/1 in their NBA offers for the Rockets to overcome the Phoenix Suns in their next matchup.
Meanwhile, Dwight Howard is rumored to be closing in on a switch from the Rockets to recent opponents Mavericks on a free agent transfer this summer. The Rockets are set to be looking to add to their roster with the intention of building an NBA championship contending side whilst Nowitzki is still playing. However, a potential stumbling block in the deal could be the length of the contract offered, with Howard seemingly demanding a four-year deal. Orlando Magic have also been rumored to be willing to offer Howard an opportunity to return to where it all started.
Number one ranked Warriors host second placed San Antonio Spurs at the Oracle Arena in their next matchup as they look to consolidate their current position in the build up to the season ending playoffs. The retiring Kobe Bryant has recently come out in support of the Warriors in the quest to set the record for the most NBA wins in one season. The Spurs are 3.5/1 outsiders with Betway to inflict defeat on the Warriors.