Mavs down RocketsApr 19, 2012 - 7:18 AM Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 of his 35 points in the second half to help the Dallas Mavericks down the Houston Rockets, 117-110, in a battle of Western Conference playoff contenders Wednesday.
Vince Carter and Jason Terry provided sparks off the bench, netting 23 and 19 points, respectively, for the Mavericks, who picked up a much-needed victory after back-to-back overtime losses. Dallas moved into a tie with idle Denver for sixth place in the West.
"The second half I was able to get some good looks, guys kept looking for me after cuts to the basket, had some good three's that went in. I Just got involved in the game a little more," Nowitzki said of his dominant second half.
Houston, meanwhile, fell a half-game behind Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Seven Rockets finished in double figures, including Goran Dragic with 20 points and 10 assists, but they were outscored 39-26 in the fourth quarter to suffer their fifth consecutive loss.
"We have to stay together, we can't start hanging our heads now," Rockets forward Chandler Parsons said of his team's recent stretch.
Dallas entered the fourth quarter down 84-78 after trailing by as many as nine in the third, but rolled off a 19-8 run to take its first lead of the second half. Nowitzki made back-to-back treys and Terry and Carter followed a bit later with three-pointers of their own during the rally.
Marcus Camby, who finished with 11 points and 17 rebounds, temporarily ended the flurry with a basket, but former slam dunk champion Carter showed he still has some skills at the rim with a resounding putback dunk on the other end.
A brief Rockets spurt got them back to within 102-98, but Nowitzki then hit a pair of free-throws before Jason Kidd knocked down a triple, and Houston trailed by at least four thereafter.
Both teams shot at least 50 percent in the first half and were tied 55-55 at intermission.
Terry's first three-pointer moved him into fourth place on the NBA's all-time list, passing Chauncey Billups...Notwitzki scored 21 points in the fourth, and converted all 12 of his free-throw attempts...Carter's 29 minutes, 32 seconds on the floor were the most he has played in a game since 2008.
- HOUSTON: 110
Apr 18 10:58 PM
- HOUSTON: 55
Apr 18 9:36 PM
- HOUSTON: 27
End of 1st
Apr 18 9:08 PM
- HOUSTON: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 18 8:43 PM
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