Page last updated on Wed Apr 01 13:53:43 EDT 2015
01/17/2013 12:38 AM EST
Brand helps Mavericks hold off Rockets 105-100

AP Sports Writer

DALLAS (AP) -- James Harden drove to the basket with his potent
left hand, intent on breaking a late tie against the Dallas

His layup attempt never reached the rim.

Elton Brand's critical block led to a pair of tiebreaking free
throws by O.J. Mayo, and Dirk Nowitzki hit several big shots and
finished with 19 points to turn back a Jeremy Lin-led rally in
the Mavericks' 105-100 victory over the Houston Rockets on
Wednesday night.

"I had two or three. Which one was it?" Brand said when asked
about the block, managing to keep a straight face for a few
seconds before breaking into a big grin.

He knew which one it was.

"He's one of the best finishers in the league," Brand said. "I
just tried to do what I could to get a stop right there."

The Mavericks, who won a season-high fourth straight game, got
plenty of stops on Harden. The NBA's fourth-leading scorer
finished with 20 points but had just five midway through the
third quarter and was held to 5-of-23 shooting. He barely
extended his career-best streak of games with at least 20 points
to 22.

Lin was the bigger threat in the fourth quarter. With Houston
trailing 93-82, he hit two free throws and consecutive driving
layups to start a 15-4 surge that tied the score at 97. He also
had a 3-pointer, but missed three of six free throws down the
stretch. One would have given Houston its first lead since the
first quarter, and the last cost the Rockets a chance to tie
with 57 seconds left.

"Well, if I could hit a free throw that would be nice," said
Lin, a 78 percent foul shooter who had 19 points but went 6 of
10 from the line.

Mayo's free throws put Dallas ahead 99-97 with 1:02 remaining,
and Lin had a chance to tie it after drawing a foul call that
Dallas didn't like. His miss gave the Mavericks the ball back
with the lead, but Mike James missed a long jumper. Harden
couldn't get a good look at a layup on the other end, and
Nowitzki won a scramble for the ball and made two more free

The Rockets had a last chance to tie, but Lin committed their
16th turnover trying to get the ball to Chandler Parsons, who
had 18 points. Harden, Lin and Parsons - Houston's three outside
scoring threats - combined to make 17 of 50 from the field as
the Rockets shot 39 percent and lost a season-high fifth
straight coming off their second five-game winning streak, also
a season best.

"Turnovers, missed layups, missed good shots," Rockets coach
Kevin McHale said. "We just go through stretches where that
comes back, and we've got to fight back after that."

Mayo had 18 points despite 3-of-14 shooting because he was 12 of
13 from the line. Shawn Marion also had 18 points to go with
nine rebounds, while Brand had 11 points, 10 rebounds and two

Six Mavericks finished in double figures for the second straight
game, but Dallas was looking to Nowitzki in key stretches. He
hit a 3-pointer late in the third quarter to stem a Houston
rally and had another big jumper after Lin pulled the Rockets
within a point with 3:40 left.

"I had some good looks," said Nowitzki, who has scored in double
figures in nine straight games after a slow start in his return
from knee surgery that sidelined him for the first two months.
"That 3 at the end of the third helped me get my rhythm.
Sometimes all you need is to see the ball go through the hoop
one time."

The Mavericks shot 38 percent and had a subpar night at the line
before Nowitzki, Mayo and Dahntay Jones combined to make eight
straight in the final 1:02.

Harden had gone more than two quarters without a basket when he
stole a pass and converted a three-point play on the other end
midway through the third. He ended up with five points during a
10-2 run that pulled Houston to 71-69.

NOTES: The Mavericks didn't trail in Monday's 113-98 win over
Minnesota, the first time this season Dallas led from start to
finish. It also was the first time the Mavericks had three
players with 20 or more points in a game. Darren Collison scored
23 and Mayo and Brand added 20 apiece. ... Collison and Mayo had
nine assists each against the Timberwolves, making it the first
time since 2002 that two Dallas players had at least 20 points
and nine assists in the same game. ... Houston's 18 points in
the first quarter matched a season low for a Dallas opponent in
the first. ... James' 10-day contract expires at midnight
Thursday. He played critical minutes against the Rockets,
increasing the likelihood that he'll stay around.

RK Team
Brooklyn Nets
Chicago Bulls
Ul Monroe
Portland Trailblazers
Boston Celtics
ATP - Miami, USATHIEM, D vs. MURRAY, A12:00 PM PST
NBAPistons vs Hornets4:05 PM PST
NBASpurs vs Magic4:05 PM PST
NBA76ers vs Wizards4:05 PM PST
NHLMaple Leafs at Sabres4:30 PM PST
NBAPacers vs Celtics4:35 PM PST
NBANets vs Knicks4:35 PM PST
College BasketballLoyola Chicago vs UL - Monroe5:00 PM PST
NHLFlyers at Penguins5:00 PM PST
NBAKings vs Rockets5:05 PM PST
NBABulls vs Bucks5:05 PM PST
NBARaptors vs Timberwolves5:05 PM PST
NBAMavericks vs Thunder5:05 PM PST
NBANuggets vs Jazz6:05 PM PST
NHLOilers at Ducks7:00 PM PST
NBAClippers vs Trail Blazers7:05 PM PST
NHLAvalanche at Sharks7:30 PM PST
NBAPelicans vs Lakers7:35 PM PST
NHLIslanders at Blue Jackets4:00 PM PST
NHLCapitals at Canadiens4:30 PM PST
NHLLightning at Senators4:30 PM PST
NHLBruins at Red Wings4:30 PM PST
NHLHurricanes at Panthers4:30 PM PST
NHLFlames at Blues5:00 PM PST
NHLRangers at Wild5:00 PM PST
NBAHeat vs Cavaliers5:05 PM PST
NHLCanucks at Blackhawks5:30 PM PST
NBARockets vs Mavericks5:35 PM PST
NHLOilers at Kings7:30 PM PST
NBASuns vs Warriors7:35 PM PST
NHLBlackhawks at Sabres4:00 PM PST
NHLCanadiens at Devils4:00 PM PST
NHLBlues at Stars5:30 PM PST
NHLAvalanche at Ducks7:00 PM PST
NHLCoyotes at Sharks7:00 PM PST
UFCL Murphy vs L Carmouche08:00 AM PST
UFCA Yakovlev vs G Maynard08:00 AM PST
UFCT Johnson vs S Abdurahimov08:00 AM PST
UFCJ Jones vs R Stallings08:00 AM PST
UFCR Lamas vs C Mendes10:00 AM PST
UFCA Iaquinta vs J Masvidal10:00 AM PST
UFCM Clarke vs M Chiesa10:00 AM PST
UFCM Dudieva vs J Pena10:00 AM PST
UFCR Peralta vs C Guida10:00 AM PST
UFCD Ferreira vs D Poirier10:00 AM PST
NHLFlyers at Hurricanes10:00 AM PST
NHLPenguins at Blue Jackets11:00 AM PST
NHLCanucks at Jets12:00 PM PST
College BasketballMichigan State vs Duke3:05 PM PST
NHLLightning at Panthers4:00 PM PST
NHLSabres at Islanders4:00 PM PST
NHLDevils at Rangers4:00 PM PST
NHLWings at Wild4:00 PM PST
NHLMaple Leafs at Bruins4:00 PM PST
NHLCapitals at Senators4:00 PM PST
NHLStarts at Predators5:00 PM PST
College BasketballWisconsin vs Kentucky5:45 PM PST
NHLSharks at Coyotes6:00 PM PST
NHLFlames at Oilers7:00 PM PST
NHLAvalanche at Kings7:00 PM PST
NHLPenguins at Flyers09:30 AM PST
NHLCapitals at Red Wings2:00 PM PST
NHLCanadiens at Panthers2:00 PM PST
NHLSenators at Maple Leafs4:30 PM PST
NHLBlues at Blackhawks4:30 PM PST
NHLHurricanes at Sabres4:00 PM PST
NHLBlue jackets at Rangers4:00 PM PST
NHLJets at Wild5:00 PM PST
NHLKings at Canucks7:00 PM PST
NHLStars at Sharks7:30 PM PST
NHLRangers at Devils4:00 PM PST
NHLIslanders at Flyers4:00 PM PST
NHLPenguins at Senators4:30 PM PST