DALLAS -- Almost from the time he stepped on the court Wednesday night at American Airlines Center, Samuel Dalembert never really got a chance to play much against the Houston Rockets.
The Dallas Mavericks' starting center was whistled for two fouls less than two minutes into the game. By halftime Dalembert had no points and three fouls and was taken completely out of a game the Mavs eventually lost, 117-115.
"He had a couple of touch fouls in the first two minutes, and he's got to avoid that,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "It takes discipline and he's got to be more disciplined than that.''
Dalembert, who finished the game with three fouls, two points and three rebounds in 12 minutes, insists that the refs just wouldn't let him bang with Dwight Howard.
Things like this happen in the NBA, and I still finished the game with three fouls,'' Dalembert said. "Nobody is perfect.
"We got some calls and we've got to go through it, we got to play, we got to learn how to play through it. We've got to keep going out there.''
With the much bulkier Dalembert in foul trouble, the Mavs put the much shorter DeJuan Blair on Howard and he did a commendable job holding his own. Howard finished with 21 points and a season-low five rebounds, and his point total was enhanced when he made 5-of-6 free throws after the Mavs intentionally fouled him in the fourth quarter.
-- Dwain Price
Follow me on Twitter