Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - James Harden's 32 points, coupled with his solid defense down the stretch, helped the Houston Rockets snap a two-game losing streak with a 95-92 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.
Patrick Beverley deposited 20 points and Donatas Motiejunas supplied 14 points and 12 rebounds in place of Dwight Howard, who missed his second straight game due to a knee injury.
"Extremely important for us," said Harden. "Bad loss last game, we wanted to come back out."
Howard recently received platelet-rich plasma therapy in his right knee and the timetable for his return is uncertain.
Monta Ellis paced the Mavs with 17 points on 7-of-21 shooting and Tyson Chandler netted 13 points with 13 boards. Dallas had its six-game winning streak snapped.
Chandler Parsons, who left the Rockets after signing a three-year, $46 million deal with the Mavs in the offseason, returned to Houston for the first time and had eight points.
"Little frustrating because we wanted to come in here and get a win," Parsons said. "We're going to be fighting with them all year long."
The Mavericks trailed by nine entering the fourth and they cut it to three, 81-78, in the early stages after J.J. Barea's three-point play. Dallas then grabbed the lead with 5 1/2 minutes to play when Devin Harris knocked down three free throws as part of a 13-0 run that Barea capped with a jumper for an 86-81 lead.
Motiejunas' free throw with 3:14 remaining halted the run, as well as a 6:01 scoreless drought for Houston. Jason Terry's layup two minutes later pulled the Rockets within three. Harden followed an Ellis free throw with a pair at the line before he converted a three-point play to help Houston regain the lead at 93-92 with 28.2 seconds remaining.
Coming out of a timeout, Ellis drove the lane, but Harden played stiff defense and denied the ball at the free throw line, forcing a turnover. Trevor Ariza picked up the loose ball, was fouled and hit both free throws to increase the margin.
Dirk Nowitzki, who finished with 11 points on 4-of-18 shooting, was off the mark on a potential tying 3-pointer with Harden giving him no room to shoot. However, the ball went off Motiejunas with 5.4 seconds remaining.
It didn't much matter, though, as Ellis was long on a deep 3 and Parsons couldn't get another shot off in time as the buzzer sounded.
Dallas was held to just two baskets in the opening 8:05 of the third as the Rockets made it a 73-55 game following Harden's 3. However, the Mavs countered with an 8-0 flurry to close the gap back to 10 with 1 1/2 minutes left. An Ellis trey closed the quarter and trimmed the Mavs' deficit to 77-68 entering the fourth.
The game was tied at 29-29 after the first quarter. Beverley started a string of four straight 3-pointers from Houston with two consecutive makes from deep to help it stretch its lead to 51-39 with 5:43 remaining in the second.
Jameer Nelson found Chandler for an alley-oop slam late in the quarter to trim the deficit to six, then Harden responded at the other end with a 3-pointer for a 60-51 edge at half.
Dallas had won 10 of its last 14 at the Toyota Center ... The Mavs were held to 35-of-88 shooting, while Houston made 30-of-82 attempts from the floor ... Brandan Wright had 14 points and 11 rebounds in the setback.