DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — On a night when Houston was without leading scorer James Harden, Dirk Nowitzki scored 38 points and grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds.
Unfortunately for Dallas, it didn’t matter.
Chandler Parsons scored 26 points and the Rockets held on to beat the Mavericks 117-115 Wednesday night, knocking off a Texas rival for the second straight day.
Seven Rockets scored in double figures on a night when they had just 10 players in uniform. Dwight Howard had 21 points, and Jeremy Lin had 18 and seven assists.
The Mavericks cut a 12-point deficit with 4:08 remaining to just two and had a chance to win, but Jose Calderon missed a pair of 3-point tries in the final seconds.
“He’s our best three-point shooter all year,” said Nowitzki after the game. “I guess we live with the look.”
Nowitzki was an efficient 13-of-21, but was the only Dallas starter in double figures.
Harden was out again with a bruised left thumb a night after Houston beat San Antonio.
The Rockets, who were also without centers Omer Asik and Greg Smith and forward Francisco Rodriguez, took a double-digit lead with a 9-0 run midway through the fourth quarter.
Lin had a pair of layups to get the run going, and Patrick Beverley finished it with a 3-pointer that made him the seventh double-figure scorer and put Houston up 107-95.
Dallas was still down seven with 1:20 remaining when Vince Carter hit a 3-pointer, and Nowitzki made two free throws with 22 seconds left.
Calderon knocked away the inbound pass, and the ball went off Houston’s Aaron Brooks after he chased it down.
With a chance to tie or win, Nowitzki was working for a shot before deciding to pass to Calderon. His first try from 3 was short and he missed again just before the buzzer after running down the rebound.
Houston’s win split the four-game series between the teams and put the Rockets 4½ games ahead of the Mavericks for second place in the Southwest Division. The Spurs are in front.
Five days after scoring a career-high 34 points against Memphis, Parsons also had five assists, including an inbound pass for a layup by Brooks with just 0.9 seconds on the shot clock in the third quarter.
Howard had a season-low five rebounds but made seven of eight free throws in the last five minutes, most of those with the Mavericks fouling him on purpose to try to get back in the game.
Calderon and Monta Ellis combined for 14 points and made just 5 of 22 from the field for Dallas, which got 22 points from Carter and a season-high 14 for the third straight game from Devin Harris.
Ellis finished the game with more turnovers (4) and fouls (5) than field goals made (3) in 31 minutes.
“What he really needs to do is just focus on the defensive end first, and everything else will fall into place,” said Carlisle. “We’re just giving up too many points. It’s as simple as that.”
Notes: Nowitzki became the 13th player in NBA history with 26,000 points. John Havlicek is next on the scoring list at 26,395. … Second-year Rockets F Terrence Jones was selected to the Rising Stars challenge over All-Star weekend. The 22-year-old has started 38 games and more than doubled the scoring and rebounding averages from his rookie season.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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