Omri Casspi and Gal Mekel faced off as NBA opponents for the first time on
Monday night when Casspi’s Houston Rockets defeated Mekel’s Dallas Mavericks
100-95 in a Texas derby.
Both Israelis began the game at the Toyota
Center in Houston on the bench, but still played significant minutes and roles
for their teams.
Dallas lost star Dirk Nowitzki late in the third quarter
after he was ejected for a flagrant two foul for knocking Casspi to the ground
on a fast break.
Mekel helped keep the Mavs in the game in the fourth
quarter, but the hosts held on for a win, improving to 4-1 in the
The NBA regular season starts next Tuesday, with Casspi and
Mekel to play their first games on Wednesday.
Casspi finished Monday’s
win with 10 points and four rebounds in 19 minutes, with James Harden leading
the Rockets with 19 points and Dwight Howard contributing 15 points and 17
Mekel had nine points and six assists in 22
Casspi, who will be beginning his fifth NBA season and first
with the Rockets, and Mekel, who was signed by the Mavs after an impressive
summer camp showing, won’t have to wait much longer until they meet again with
Houston already hosting Dallas on November 2.
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