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01/30/2014 12:23 AM EST
Parsons, Harden-less Rockets beat Mavs 117-115
HOUSTON 117, DALLAS 115

By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Sports Writer

DALLAS (AP) -- Chandler Parsons and the Houston Rockets made it
two straight over a Texas rival without James Harden.

Parsons scored 26 points, and the Rockets almost blew a 12-point
lead in the final 4 minutes before hanging on for a 117-115
victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

Seven Rockets scored in double figures on a night when they had
just 10 players in uniform. Dwight Howard had 21 points, and
Jeremy Lin added 18 and seven assists.

"When he's out, we have a more balanced attack," Parsons said of
Harden. "We run our sets and get the best shot available. When
he's not there, we don't go one-on-one as much."

The Mavericks cut a 12-point deficit with 4:08 remaining to just
two and had a chance to win, but Jose Calderon missed a pair of
3-point tries in the final seconds.

Dirk Nowitzki had 38 points and a season-high 17 rebounds, but
was the only Dallas starter in double figures.

"We shouldn't be putting ourselves in those situations where
we're fighting back the whole game," Calderon said.

Harden was out again with a bruised left thumb a night after
Houston beat San Antonio to answer consecutive losses to
Memphis.

The win over the Spurs came in a season-high third straight game
with fewer than 100 points, but the Rockets broke that streak on
a pair of free throws by Parsons with 7:08 remaining.

"They were two big games for us, especially after losing two to
Memphis," Parsons said.

The Rockets, who were also without centers Omer Asik and Greg
Smith and forward Francisco Rodriguez, took a double-digit lead
with a 9-0 run midway through the fourth quarter.

Lin, who also grabbed seven rebounds, had a pair of layups to
get the run going. Patrick Beverley finished it with a 3-pointer
that made him the seventh double-figure scorer and put Houston
up 107-95.

Dallas was still down seven with 1:20 remaining when Vince
Carter hit a 3-pointer, and Nowitzki made two free throws with
22 seconds left.

Calderon knocked away the inbound pass, and the ball went off
Houston's Aaron Brooks after he chased it down.

With a chance to tie or win, Nowitzki was working for a shot
before deciding to pass to Calderon. His first try from 3 was
short and he missed again just before the buzzer after running
down the rebound.

"We came over to double-team Dirk to make sure Dirk didn't beat
us," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "Calderon had a look, but
fortunately he missed."

Donatas Motiejunas had his first career double-double with 12
points and a career-high 13 rebounds for the Rockets.

Houston's win split the four-game series between the teams and
put the Rockets 4 1/2 games ahead of the Mavericks for second
place in the Southwest Division. The Spurs are in front.

Five days after scoring a career-high 34 points against Memphis,
Parsons also had five assists, including an inbound pass for a
layup by Brooks with just 0.9 seconds on the shot clock in the
third quarter.

Howard had a season-low five rebounds but made seven of eight
free throws in the last five minutes, most of those with the
Mavericks fouling him on purpose to try to get back in the game.
He was 9 of 11 from the line.

"I don't know how many times they blew by us, but I'm glad we
started fouling Howard because I was starting to get the chills
over there from all of the blow-bys," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle
said. "It saved our guys the embarrassment of getting blown by
two or three times in a row."

Calderon and Monta Ellis combined for 14 points and made just 5
of 22 from the field for Dallas, which got 22 points from Carter
and a season-high 14 for the third straight game from Devin
Harris.

"In true Houston form, we let them come back," Lin said. "We're
happy to sneak away with a win. We always seem to let it go down
to the wire."

Notes: Nowitzki became the 13th player in NBA history with
26,000 points. John Havlicek is next on the scoring list at
26,395. ... Second-year Rockets F Terrence Jones was selected to
the Rising Stars challenge over All-Star weekend. The
22-year-old has started 38 games and more than doubled the
scoring and rebounding averages from his rookie season.

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