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Harden scores 42, Rockets lead Mavs 3-0

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

DALLAS (AP) James Harden deferred to Dwight Howard and his role players when Houston swept two games at home to open a first-round series against Dallas.

The MVP candidate took over in the game that put the Rockets on the verge of Harden's first postseason series victory with Howard in their second season together - even interrupting his big man on a question about the best rebounding game of the center's playoff career.

Harden scored a playoff career-high 42 points, Howard had his postseason best with 26 rebounds and the Rockets beat the Mavericks 130-128 on Friday night for a 3-0 lead in their first-round series.

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Assists per game
Rank Name APG
1 Chris Paul, LAC10.2
2 John Wall, Was10.0
3 Ty Lawson, Den9.6
4 Russell Westbrook, OKC8.6
5 Rajon Rondo, Dal7.9
6 Stephen Curry, GS7.7
7 LeBron James, Cle7.4
8 Jeff Teague, Atl7.0
9 James Harden, Hou7.0
10 Kyle Lowry, Tor6.8
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Steals Per Game
Rank Name SPG
1 Kawhi Leonard, SA2.31
2 Russell Westbrook, OKC2.09
3 Tony Allen, Mem2.05
4 Stephen Curry, GS2.04
5 Chris Paul, LAC1.90
6 James Harden, Hou1.90
7 Trevor Ariza, Hou1.85
8 Monta Ellis, Dal1.85
9 Paul Millsap, Atl1.78
10 Nerlens Noel, Phi1.77
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