Chandler Parsons scored 26 points, Dwight Howard added 21 and the Houston Rockets held off a furious Dallas Mavericks rally to secure a 117-115 win at the American Airlines Center on Wednesday night, collecting their second straight victory without James Harden (thumb).
The Rockets led 116-104 with 2:52 to go, but the Mavericks went on an 11-1 run. Houston fouled Dallas on three-point shots twice, and the Mavs sunk all six of those free throws. The Rockets were also incredibly sloppy offensively, but they built just enough of a lead to hold on.
Dirk Nowitzki posted 38 points and 17 rebounds for the Mavericks, becoming just the 13th player in NBA history to score 26,000 points for his career. He shot 13-of-21 from the floor and made all 11 of his free throws. However, he didn't get much help from his starting lineup.
Other than Nowitzki, not a single Dallas starter scored in double figures, with Jose Calderon going 2-for-12 from the floor and missing a couple of good looks from three-point range that could have won the game for the Mavs before the buzzer sounded.
Vince Carter chipped in 22 points off the bench.
Houston shot 55.4 percent from the floor and overcame another less than stellar performance at the free-throw line, where it shot 26-for-36.
Howard was surprisingly solid from the charity stripe, though, going 9-of-11 and making seven of eight during a fourth-quarter stretch where the Mavericks employed the Hack-a-Dwight strategy.
This was the final meeting between the division rivals this season. The two teams split their four matchups.