Mavs, Rockets continue Southwest rivalry

( - Two Southwest Division, as well as inter-state rivals, the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets will tangle Wednesday night at the Toyota Center.

The Rockets have won two in a row and they came at the back end of a three- game road trip. After a loss to the Golden State Warriors, the Rockets defeated the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers.

James Harden tallied 37 points with eight rebounds and five assists to lead the Rockets against the Lakers on Sunday night. LA was without Kobe Bryant, who has a torn rotator cuff.

The Rockets played without Dwight Howard, who missed the game against his former team with a right ankle sprain.

Josh Smith and Jason Terry each came off the bench to score 11 points, while Corey Brewer had 10 in a reserve role for the Rockets.

Harden netted seven points over the first five minutes and Houston went up 14-6 on Patrick Beverley's 3-pointer. Josh Smith hit a 3 late in the quarter to put the Rockets up 15 and they led 30-15 after 12 minutes. Harden notched 13 points in the opening frame.

"It helps our defensive mentality," Harden said when asked about the team's fast start.

The Rockets are home for only one game before hitting the road against the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons.

The Mavericks have lost three in a row and hit the road for three straight. Dallas will visit the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic, starting Friday and ending Saturday.

On Tuesday, the Mavs got clobbered by the Memphis Grizzlies, 109-90, at home.

Monta Ellis and Chandler Parsons each put in 19 points for the Mavericks, who have dropped a season-high three consecutive contests. Dirk Nowitzki added 11 and Tyson Chandler finished with 10 points.

"Poor decision-making ... it was our downfall tonight," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said.

The Mavericks committed 16 turnovers, which led to 21 points from the Grizzlies. Memphis shot 53.2 percent from the floor and 47.6 percent from long range.

To make the loss worse, the Grizzlies were without Mike Conley and Tony Allen in the win.

The Rockets won the first meeting between the two teams this season - a three- point victory in Houston. The rivals will meet in Dallas on Feb. 20 and April 2.

Houston has won three of the last four encounters in Space City, but the Mavs are 6-4 in the last 10 games in Houston.