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Mavericks Vs. Rockets: Dallas Closer To Playoffs After 117-110 Win

With both teams fighting for their playoff lives, the Mavs edged out a 117-110 win over the rival Rockets to move one step closer to the playoffs.

Dirk Nowitzki led all scorers with 35 points on 10-for-18 shooting, with almost all of those points coming in the second half. This came after Nowitzki score 40 points against Utah on Monday. Vince Carter scored a season-high 23 points on 8-for-18 shooting and Jason Terry added 19 points.

The teams were tied after the first quarter and at halftime. Houston led by six after the third quarter, but the Mavs opened the fourth on a 19-8 run. Dallas led by as many as nine in the quarter and went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line in the final 2:30 to hold on for the victory.

With the win, Dallas moves 2 1/2 games ahead of the Rockets in the Western Conference standings with three games remaining. The Mavs' place in the standings won't be certain until the remainder of Wednesday's games finish. Dallas began the night in seventh place in the West, while Houston was tied for eighth, but on the outside looking in due to a tiebreaker.

For more on the Dallas Mavericks, check out Mavs Moneyball. Rockets news and info can be found at The Dream Shake, and all your NBA news is at SB Nation's NBA page.

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