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Mavericks Jump Out Fast, Hang On Late for win over Rockets

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki and Peja Stojakovic scored 22 points apiece, and the Dallas Mavericks got back into the win column with a 106-102 victory over Houston.

The Mavericks were playing for the first time since their 10-game winning streak was snapped in a one-point loss at Denver on Thursday.

They avoided losing back-to-back games for the first time in almost a month, getting 14 points from Shawn Marion off the bench and 12 points from Tyson Chandler.

Kyle Lowry scored 26 points to lead the Rockets, who lost for the fifth time in their last eight games despite nearly erasing a 16-point deficit to start the fourth quarter.

The Mavericks trailed 25-23 after the first, then ripped off a huge second quarter to take control of the game.

After the Rockets scored first, Dallas went on a 16-5 run capped by Marion's layup to make it 39-32. The Mavericks extended their lead to 13 points at halftime, carrying a 57-44 advantage into the locker room.

"The second quarter was a killer," Rockets head coach Rick Adelman said. "We had two days to prepare for these guys but it didn't carry over."

Dallas opened the second half with a 15-5 run, taking their biggest lead of the game at 23 points when Stojakovic buried a three to make it 72-49.

The Rockets cut it to 83-67 heading into the fourth, then chipped away, getting within three points at 95-92 when Battier's three sparked a brief 7-0 burst. But Nowitzki hit a jumper, Jason Kidd made a layup and the Mavericks were able to keep their heads above water.

They fought off Houston one more time after that, overcoming a pair of late three-pointers by Lowry.

"We just put no fight up until the second half," Adelman said. "We went small and we started to pick it up."

The Mavericks haven't lost back-to-back games since a six-game spell from January 6-17...The Rockets started a three-game homestand that also includes visits from the Nuggets and 76ers...Dallas shot 55 percent and finished a three-game road trip 2-1...Houston shot 41 percent.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.