(Sports Network) - Not even Dallas' tremendous bench production could save a 10-game winning streak in a recent loss at Denver. Tonight, the Mavericks will try to start a new trend when they close out a three-game road trip against the Southwest Division-rival Houston Rockets.
The Mavericks lost for the first time since Jan. 20 at Chicago with Thursday's 121-120 loss to the Nuggets from the Pepsi Center. Denver guard Arron Afflalo hit the go-ahead basket at the buzzer and scored 19 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter. Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets with 42 points and Chauncey Billups contributed 30 in a winning effort.
Jason Terry paced Dallas with 25 points, while Shawn Marion and Jose Barea scored 19 and 17 points, respectively, off the bench. The Mavs' bench outscored Denver's by a lopsided 72-12 margin, but a 21-10 run by the Nuggets to close out the game sealed the victory.
"There's some things during the course of the game that we can be doing better," Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said.
Dirk Nowitzki tallied 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and has failed to reach the 20-point mark in three straight games. Tyson Chandler compiled 20 points and 11 rebounds in defeat. The Mavericks are 17-8 away from Big D this season.
Houston will resume a four-game homestand Friday and began the stay with Tuesday's 112-108 loss versus the Minnesota Timberwolves. Kevin Love recorded his 38th consecutive double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds to help the Wolves end a 13-game slide in the series.
Courtney Lee and Kevin Martin scored 23 points for the Rockets, who had a three-game winning streak come to an end and lost for the fourth time in seven tries. Houston was pounded on the glass, 51-31, and shot 45 percent from the floor.
"You've got to give Minnesota credit," said Rockets head coach Rick Adelman. "They shot the heck out of the ball. A lot of guys contributed, made big shots when they had to. We just didn't make enough plays to win."
Rockets guard Aaron Brooks returned to the floor after missing Monday's game against Denver because of a one-game suspension, and scored five points off the bench. Luis Scola, playing in his 300th straight regular-season game, had 22 points and Chuck Hayes ended with 10 and 13 boards, as Houston had an eight-game home winning streak against Minnesota come to an end as well.
Scola is averaging 21.2 points over the last nine games. The Rockets will also host Denver and Philadelphia, and are 14-11 at the Toyota Center this season.
Dallas has won the first two meetings with Houston this season and five of the past seven matchups between the two clubs. These two teams will meet again April 11 in Space City. The Mavs have won five of seven and sev