Howard and Harden lead Rockets over Mavericks 111-99

Houston Rockets' Dwight Howard (12) reacts after a dunk during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON (AP) — Friends since preschool, but teammates for the first time since they were teenagers, Dwight Howard and Josh Smith have been itching for this opportunity.

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Harden has 24 points, Rockets beat Mavs 118-108 in Game 1

Dallas Mavericks' Monta Ellis (11) is blocked by Houston Rockets' Dwight Howard (12) as he tries to score during the first quarter of game 1 in the first round of the NBA basketball playoffs Saturday, April 18, 2015, in Houston. Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) also defends on the play. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden had 24 points and Corey Brewer scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Houston Rockets to a 118-108 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night in Game 1 of their Western Conference series.

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